Forests could absorb much more carbon, but does it matter?

By Sara Hussein
November 13, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Protecting forests globally could vastly increase the amount of carbon they sequester, a new study finds, but given our current emissions track, does it really matter? For Thomas Crowther, professor at ETH Zurich and an author of the assessment, the answer is a resounding yes. …But for others, calculating the hypothetical carbon storage potential of global forests is more an academic exercise than a useful framework for forest management. Martin Lukac, a forester and professor of ecosystem science at University of Reading considers forest carbon potential calculations like these “dangerous,” warning they “distract from the main challenge and offer false hope.” In 2019 Crowther produced a study on how many trees the Earth could support, where to plant them and how much carbon they could store. That work caused a firestorm of criticism, with experts unpicking everything from its modeling to the claim that reforestation was the “best” solution available.

Read More