Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Clearcut Logging- Fueling Global Warming

The paragraph below is from the Union of Concerned Scientists. I will be writing about this topic again soon as climate change is possibly the greatest threat to our world aside from nuclear annihilation. The above photo is from the Grizzly Creek watershed and shows both Green Diamond and Pacific Lumber clearcuts. The graph below was found at the Stop Clearcutting California website.

"There is a widespread and misguided belief that logging or clearing mature forests and replacing them with fast-growing younger trees will benefit the climate by sequestering atmospheric CO2. While younger trees grow and sequester carbon quickly, the fate of stored carbon when mature forests are logged must also be considered. When a forest is logged, some of its carbon may be stored for years or decades in wood products. But large quantities of CO2 are also released to the atmosphere - immediately through the disturbance of forest soils, and over time through the decomposition of leaves, branches, and other detritus of timber production. One study found that even when storage of carbon in timber products is considered, the conversion of 5 million hectares [12,355,269 acres] of mature forest to plantations in the Pacific Northwest over the last 100 years resulted in a net increase of over 1.5 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere."

20. Harmon, M.E., W.K. Ferrell and J.K. Franklin. 1990. Effects on carbon storage of conversion of old-growth forests to young forests. Science 247: 699-702.
Union of Concerned Scientists. “Recognizing Forests' Role in Climate Change”

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