If you’ve read about carbon removal online, you’ve seen the refrain, “just plant trees”! It’s true that a living tree draws down co2 as it grows, but can mass forestation slow climate change? That math of forest carbon sequestration is complicated.
But a lot of government climate plans, ESG investing rules, and most of the carbon offset markets are relying on forest projects to deliver CO2 removals.
A new study from Israeli researchers sheds some light on the forestation carbon math. Specifically, this study evaluated whether afforestation in arid environments or in geographies that currently do not support trees would lead to carbon removal, if we take into account albedo.
This, combined with new data that shows that deforestation did not slow down enough this year to meet international climate agreements, puts the potential for forests to deliver additional climate mitigation into question.
With me to discuss the news in forestry is our science panel: Jane Zelikova and Shannon Valley.
On This Episode
Limited climate change mitigation potential through forestation of the vast dryland regions
Anthropocene Magazine article about the paper
Forest Declaration Assessment report of 2022 deforestation
Nature article about the report
New President of Brazil and the Amazon
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