MAY 22, 2017 10:56 AM PDT

When deforestation is a good thing


More than 13,300 of Northern Scotland's tree plantations are being cut down in the name of climate change. This region is dominated by bog mosses, which absorb carbon dioxide; but in last decades the trees have been planted over the bogs for the timber industry, which damages the bogs and limits their carbon storing capacities.

When the mosses in the bogs die, the wet acidic soil only partially lets them decompose. This dead material becomes peat, which stores vast amounts of CO2 in the ground - more than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. The presence of trees messes up that process because tree roots expose the peat, drying it out, and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Scientists in Scotland have been monitoring the carbon released in open landscapes versus forested landscapes, and have determined that restored open landscapes are the best carbon sinks.

That is why since 1997 these scientists have been cutting down trees, moistening the bogs, and letting the peat take its natural form again. In this very particular case, deforestation is the way to go!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAR 20, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 20, 2020
Exercise For Persons With COPD
The thought of starting an exercise program can be daunting, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with chronic ...
MAY 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 10, 2020
Penguins Have a Rough Time Combating Larger Predators
Humboldt penguins are small and easy prey for larger predators, and with that in mind, it may not come as much of a surp ...
MAY 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 17, 2020
Here's Why it's So Critical That We Understand the Sun
The Sun is just one of countless stars that exist in our universe. But it’s one of the most prominent because it&r ...
MAY 25, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 25, 2020
Virgin Orbit Wants to Launch Space Rockets From 747 Jets
Entities from all around the world, be it companies or government space agencies, are continuously innovating in an atte ...
MAY 25, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 25, 2020
Cuttlefish Are Amazing, and Here's Why
Many people have heard of the cuttlefish but haven’t actually seen one in person – and we’re just goin ...
MAY 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 27, 2020
Light-Bearing Ether: How a Historical Null Result Revolutionized Modern Physics
Ether (or aether) is a term used in ancient mythology and medieval science to denote the matter that fills in the void o ...
Loading Comments...