With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors – NYTimes.com

2 Oct

Forests are dying all over the world in one way or another. The effects could be disastrous.

Scientists say the future habitability of the Earth might well depend on the answer. For, while a majority of the world’s people now live in cities, they depend more than ever on forests, in a way that few of them understand.

Scientists have figured out — with the precise numbers deduced only recently — that forests have been absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that people are putting into the air by burning fossil fuels and other activities. It is an amount so large that trees are effectively absorbing the emissions from all the world’s cars and trucks.

Without that disposal service, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be rising faster. The gas traps heat from the sun, and human emissions are causing the planet to warm.

via With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors – NYTimes.com.

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