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06-08-2011, 06:05 PM #1
Forget deforestation: The world's woodland is getting denser
Forget deforestation: The world's woodland is getting denser and change could help combat climate change
For years exponents of climate change theories have used images of deforestation to support their cause.
However, the density of forests and woodland across much of the world is actually increasing, according to a respected scientific study.
The change, which is being dubbed the ‘Great Reversal’, could be crucial in reducing atmospheric carbon, which is linked to climate change.
06-08-2011, 06:05 PM #2
Mountain gorillas in a Rwandan forest. The density of woodland across much of the world is actually increasing, according to a scientific study
In countries from Finland to Malaysia, the thickening has taken place so quickly that it has reversed the carbon losses caused by deforestation between 1990 and 2010.
In Britain, forest density has increased by 10.8 per cent from 2000 to 2010 and by 6.6 per cent across the whole of Europe.
Even South America and Africa, which have suffered deforestation because of logging and farming, have recorded increases in forest density of 0.8 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.
Dubbed the planet's lungs, forests act as huge carbon sinks that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow.
The research, carried out by teams from the University of Helsinki and New York's Rockefeller University, shows that forests are thickening in 45 of 68 countries, which together account for 72 per cent of global forests. Traditionally, environmentalists have focused their concern solely on the dwindling extent of forested areas, but the authors believe evidence of denser forests could be crucial in reducing the world’s carbon footprint.