Thursday, October 28, 2021

People, climate change make even forests carbon emitters | Al Jazeera

People, climate change make even forests carbon emitters

Humans and climate change have transformed 10 of the world’s most highly protected forests into net emitters of carbon over the past 20 years, according to a new report.

Land clearance and deforestation, as well as forest fires of increasing scale and severity, meant the forests released more carbon into the air than they stored, the study by UNESCO, the World Resources Institute, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found.

Among the World Heritage forests contributing to emissions were the Sumatran rainforest, the Kinabalu Park in Malaysian Borneo, and the Blue Mountains in Australia.

Yosemite and the Grand Canyon in the United States were also net emitters.

“Our finding that even some of the most iconic and best protected forests, such as those found in World Heritage sites, can actually contribute to climate change is alarming and brings to light evidence of the severity of this climate emergency,” said Tales Carvalho Resende, of UNESCO and co-author of the report.

The researchers used global satellite mapping with ground level monitoring to estimate the gross and net carbon absorbed and emitted by the World Heritage forests between 2001 and 2020, and to determine the causes of some of the emissions.

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