Wood is infinitely useful. Critically important for our changing climate, trees store carbon.
Wood is infinitely useful. Critically important for our changing climate, trees store carbon. When trees are harvested for wood products like lumber, some of that carbon continues to be stored. Even after a wood product is discarded, it keeps storing carbon.
More than 90% of new single-family homes in the U.S. are built with wood. About 400,000 homes, apartment buildings, and other housing units are lost to floods and other natural disasters or decay every year. Houses are also torn down to make way for new development. Houses store so much carbon that figuring out how many houses will be built in the future is important for understanding the total U.S. carbon storage capacity.
Harvested wood products in residential structures will continue to increase carbon storage for the next 50 years, according to a new USDA Forest Service study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“Forests sequester carbon, and wood produced by forests can hold onto that carbon for decades or centuries,” says Jeff Prestemon, lead author of the study and research economist with the Southern Research Station.
Read more at USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station
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