facebook
twitter
search
search
X
Breaking News: Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Tsarnaev will seek a new trial

Denser forests taking up more carbon

June 6, 2011 at 8:14 PM

NEW YORK, June 6 (UPI) -- Forests in many parts of the world are becoming larger carbon storage sinks because of higher density, U.S. and European researchers say.

Despite little or no expansion of forest area, the increased density significantly raised the forests' ability to take up and sequester carbon emissions, a release from Rockefeller University said Monday.

Even in South America, researchers said, increased density helped maintain regional carbon levels in the face of ongoing deforestation.

"The great role of density means that not only conservation of forest area but also managing denser, healthier forests can mitigate carbon emission," Aapo Rautiainen of the University of Helsinki, Finland said.

"Forests are like cities -- they can grow both by spreading and by becoming denser," says co-author Iddo Wernick of Rockefeller University's Program for the Human Environment.

As an example, researchers found that while U.S. timberland area grew only 1 percent between 1953 and 2007, the combined national volume of growing stock increased by an impressive 51 percent as national forest density increased substantially.

"We are pleased to report that, of 68 nations studied, forest area is expanding in 45 and density is also increasing in 45," University of Helsinki researcher Pekka Kauppi said. "Changing area and density combined had a positive impact on the carbon stock in 51 countries."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Adidas builds shoes from ocean trash
'Pac-Man' space probe to gobble-up space debris
Does comet 67P host alien 'life'?
New leafhopper species found in New Jersey Pine Barrens