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Forests Could Store Twice the Carbon

Image of Forests Could Store Twice the Carbon

UK forests could store almost double the amount of carbon than previous calculations suggest, with consequences for our understanding of carbon stocks and humanity’s response to climate change, according to a new study involving UCL researchers.

From an article in Physics by University College London.

For the study, published today in the journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence, the international team of scientists used a novel 3D scanning technique and analysis to assess the amount of aboveground biomass (AGB)—used to derive carbon storage—of 815 trees in a UK woodland. The team found that their results were 77% higher than previous estimates (410 t ha-1 of biomass vs. 232 t ha-1).

The authors say that their study could have implications for the role of forests in tackling climate change, with the potential underestimation of forest carbon stocks having both positive and negative consequences for climate policy.

Study co-author Professor Mat Disney (UCL Geography and the National Centre for Earth Observation) said, “Forests currently act as a carbon sink in the UK. However, whilst our finding that the carbon storage capacity of typical UK woodland could be nearly double what we previously thought might seem like a purely positive outcome, in practice this means that for every ha of woodland lost, we’re potentially losing almost twice the carbon sink capacity we thought.

“This has serious implications for our understanding of the benefits of protecting trees in terms of climate mitigation—and deforestation and afforestation targets more broadly.”

For the complete article on what forests could store CLICK HERE.

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