The need to manage national forests as carbon sinks

Forest fire prevention? Thinning? Maximize size of individual tress? Leave it alone? It’s hard to say

The article below is related to the one posted about “Sen. Udall sponsors bill to attack pine beetles.”

It’s good to finally see some attention to the role of forests as carbon sinks, but it is not clear how to maximize their role as sinks, or even how to prevent them from becoming carbon sources.

On thing the article doesn’t discuss the the amount of carbon stored in forest soils. In the dry interior forests with shallow soils, it probably isn’t much. In the wet, big tree  forests west of the Cascades up into British Columbia and coastal Alaska , the kind of logging done in the past, clearcuts followed by burning slash, has a horrible effect on the carbon storage.

Every kind of forest probably needs to have a different carbon management plan.

Story in the New York Times by William Yardley. Note that the Times headline is misleading as a description of the article’s content.

First-ever ‘State Of The Carbon Cycle Report’ Finds Troubling Imbalance

Sadly many carbon sinks (natural processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) appear to be turning into carbon sources. The effect of this is to increase the rate of increase of carbon dioxide in the air — a positive feedback, the kind of thing that causes system to spin out of control and change irreversibly. In other words, the the opposite of a thermostat, the well known simple negative feedback mechanical device installed to keep temperatures within a certain range.

“State of the Carbon Cycle Report” for North America not does have good news. Science Daily

Posted in Climate change. Tags: , . Comments Off on First-ever ‘State Of The Carbon Cycle Report’ Finds Troubling Imbalance