To combat global warming, some Kyoto participants have agreed to plant more trees. But the KIND of trees you plant makes a big difference: Landowners in the South are turning stands of hardwood and natural pine trees into pine plantations because pine is a more lucrative source of lumber. But it turns out that pine trees give off more carbon dioxide than deciduous forests (trees that drop their leaves in the fall).
Researcher Brent Sohngen has discovered that around 10 million acres?roughly the size of New Hampshire and Vermont?of mainly hardwood and natural pine forests will be chopped down to make way for pine plantations by 2030 in just three Southern states. That translates into around 700,000 tons more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually, or 21 million tons over a 30-year period. He says that an area the size of Los Angeles (about 333,600 acres) is converted to pine plantations each year.
Also, global warming is leading to more forest fires and since pine trees are filled with resin, they are more likely to burn.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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