Our forests absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere than they contribute. This makes them a key player in controlling global temperatures. Studies are looking at just what environments optimize this natural process and how humans can capitalize.
Even though forests are the planets largest terrestrial carbon sink, they aren’t all created equal. The forest edge, which has been in abundance since modern settlements cut away at large forests, have now been found more beneficial for CO2 absorption. The trees here grow faster due to increased sunlight allowing them to store more carbon under ground.
However, the road to identifying high intake forests is not a straight line. As temperatures increase the forests edge is the first to feel the heat. As soils warm, microbes work harder therefore releasing more C02 and potentially offsetting this fast growth benefit.
Which areas offer the most protection to rising temperatures? Where should we allow new developments? How will our urban landscapes contribute?
Maybe soon local bylaws will require carbon capture specifications be met in landscape design the same way they are regulating gas powered equipment.
authored by Laura Johnston