Natural forests are best at storing carbon
(Climate News Network, 18 May 2020) Natural forests are a global good. Well conserved, they help combat climate change. But as new research confirms, it’s not that simple.
Two new studies have freshly confirmed an argument unchallenged for more than three decades: the best way to absorb and permanently store carbon from the atmosphere is to restore and conserve existing natural forests.
This proposition – successively urged on governments around the world since the first studies of strategy to confront global warming and potentially catastrophic climate change – has more chance of sustained success than any attempts to offset carbon emissions by indiscriminate plantations of new canopy, or even systematic investment in public initiatives such as the Trillion Tree Campaign.
And the argument gets even more support from a closer look at disturbances to natural woodland: these demonstrate that even simple clearings in forests will create unfavourable local microclimates and disturb the species that flourish in stable forests.