Carbon Storage

Burning the furniture

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Science  26 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6451, pp. 338-339
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6451.338-d

Retention of carbon as harvested wood is mandated in the good practice guidelines published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Johnston and Radeloff provide a detailed, country-level global analysis of the carbon mitigation potential of harvested wood. They find that the global harvested-wood carbon sink is currently growing, but at a rate that only offsets less than 1% of carbon emissions, even under favorable conditions. This proportion varies widely between countries. Moreover, past data and forward projections show that these levels are linked to a country's prevailing socioeconomic conditions: the harvested-wood carbon sink increases in countries under strong economic growth but becomes a carbon dioxide source during economic downturns.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 14526 (2019).

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