Saturday, January 1, 2011
New Data Highlights Role of Forests in Fight Against Climate Change
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2010 - The USDA Forest Service today released new estimates of the total carbon storage of U.S. forests, highlighting the important role America's forests play in the fight against climate change. According to the new data, 41.4 billion metric tons of carbon is currently stored in the nation's forests, and due to both increases in the total area of forest land and increases in the carbon stored per acre, an additional 192 million metric tons of carbon are sequestered each year. The additional carbon sequestered annually offsets roughly 11 percent of the country's industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing almost 135 million passenger vehicles from the nation's highways.
"America's forests play a critical role in combating climate change, collectively capturing and storing significant amounts of carbon that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Forest management on all lands can contribute significantly toward cooling a warming planet, and this new information will assist the public and policy makers as we work to address this significant issue."
Painting by Ivan Shishkin
View of Valaam Island. Kukko. 1859.