Forest-sourced biofuel is bad for the environment, new study warns
A new study from the University of California, Davis, provides a deeper understanding of the complex global impacts of deforestation on greenhouse gas emissions. The study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, reports that the volume of greenhouse gas released when a forest is cleared depends on how the trees will be used and in which part of the world the trees are grown.
hen trees are felled to create solid wood products, such as lumber for housing, that wood retains much of its carbon for decades, the researchers found. In contrast, when wood is used for bioenergy or turned into pulp for paper, nearly all of its carbon is released into the atmosphere. Carbon is a major contributor to greenhouse gases.
"We found that 30 years after a forest clearing, between 0 percent and 62 percent of carbon from that forest might remain in storage," said lead author J. Mason Earles, a doctoral student with the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. "Previous models generally assumed that it was all released immediately."
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Forest image via Wikipedia,