Atmospheric Input of Carbon Dioxide from Burning Wood

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Science  14 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4338, pp. 197-200
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4338.197


The atmospheric input of carbon dioxide from burning wood, in particular from forest fires in boreal and temperate regions resulting from both natural and man-made causes and predominantly from forest fires in tropical regions caused by shifting cultivation, is estimated to be 5.7 x 1015 grams of carbon per year as gross input and 1.5 x 1015 grams of carbon per year as net input. This is a significant amount as compared to the fossil fuel carbon dioxide produced from the utilization of oil, gas, coal, and limestone, and bears on the hypothesis of the enhanced sedimentation of marine detritus as a removal mechanism of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide.