Friday, January 11, 2008

Trees are the Answer

How forests reduce global warming

One of the best tools available to park agencies to fight global warming is to plant trees and maintain forests.

The cause of global warming is too much carbon (CO2) in the air. Energy conservation is typically focused on reducing the output of carbon, but that is only half the answer. The other half of the solution is absorbing and storing the carbon that is taken out of the atmosphere. This process is called carbon sequestration. Carbon is naturally stored in the ground, in oceans and in plants. One of nature’s most effective tools for removing carbon from the air is trees and forests.

Many people do not realize that the trunk and branches of a tree are largely made from carbon that is pulled out of the air. The leaves of the tree do this through a process called photosynthesis. As a result, trees act as natural air filters, pulling carbon out of the air and releasing oxygen into the air. While different types of forest sequester or store carbon at different rates, on average, an acre of forest can absorb about two tons of carbon per year from the air.

All trees absorb carbon, but some do it better than others. Ideally, you want trees that grow fast in your climate without a lot of maintenance and have a relatively long life.

So, plant some trees and let us all breath easyer.

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