‘Sink’ Setback

Tropical Forests Releasing Excess Carbon




Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock.com

A study published in the journal Science found that forests across Asia, Latin America and Africa release 468 tons of carbon per year, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of the annual U.S. carbon footprint. Thus, tropical forests may no longer be acting as carbon sinks and could be releasing more carbon than they store.

Lead author Alessandro Baccini, with the Woods Hole Research Center, in Massachusetts, says, “These findings provide the world with a wake-up call on forests. If we’re to keep global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels, we need to drastically reduce emissions and greatly increase forests’ ability to absorb and store carbon.”

Researchers think nearly 70 percent of this loss of carbon storage capacity is caused by small-scale degradation from logging, drought and wildfire. Researchers say that policies to curb deforestation, reduce degradation and restore the integrity of the land could turn forests back into carbon sinks.


This article appears in the April 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Clear Gain

Scientists have developed a transparent, luminescent solar concentrator that looks like clear glass that could potentially supply two-fifths of U.S. energy needs.

Top Polluters

New research shows that a 100 fossil-fuel producers globally are responsible for 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions during the last 30 years.

Waxworm Wonders

Bacteria found in waxworms can digest plastic in mere weeks or months, far outperforming other plastic decomposition processes requiring 10 to 1,000 years.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Zen Shiatsu Training

Business Spotlight
Shiatsu School of Vermont, one of two schools certified in the U.S. to offer Zen-style shiatsu certification, is offering a one-year Certified Practitioner Program starting this September.

Transformation Through the Art of Breema

An upcoming weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Movement from April 20 to 22 will provide a fulfilling entry into Breema’s philosophy, self-care exercises and bodywork.

Tour Green Homes at Green House Festival in Brookline

Mothers Out Front has organized a green home tour from noon to 3 p.m. on April 8, in Brookline.

Sleeping Better Naturally

Business Spotlight
At The Organic Mattress, a family-owned specialty sleep store, people will find mattresses made from natural and organic ingredients, including organic cotton, wool and natural latex made from the sap of rubber trees.

Rising Seas Threaten Boston

The Climate Action Business Association (CABA) is standing up to protect Commonwealth small business communities against imminent danger.

Peace on Earth

My latest favorite author is 20th-century new thought leader and philosopher Emmet Fox. His piece below feels like a perfect fit in light of the world’s celebration of our planet on Earth Day this month.