Death by 1,000 Cuts: Why the Forest Carbon Sink Is Disappearing

GR:  While we’re on the subject, here’s more evidence that deforestation is not stopping anytime soon. The research reported below found that 69% of deforestation came from small-scale projects.

“The clear-cutting of giant swathes from the globe’s tropical forests has long been understood to be a major force behind global warming, but new research finds that smaller-scale forest loss—from minor logging and fires—is an even more powerful driver of climate change.

“On Thursday, scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center and Boston University published a study in the journal Science that says the planet’s tropical forests are releasing more carbon dioxide than they can store, mostly due to “fine scale” degradation and disturbance that previous studies haven’t captured.

“The finding means tropical forests may not act as carbon “sinks” unless both deforestation writ large and this more subtle degradation is stopped or slowed.

“The researchers looked at tropical forests across Asia, Africa and Latin America using a trio of tools—remote sensing, field observations and satellite imagery—that gave them a more comprehensive and detailed picture over a period of eleven years, from 2003 to 2014.

“This approach allowed them to measure not just large-scale deforestation, largely from agriculture, but smaller-scale degradation and disturbances that have, until now, been especially difficult to gauge.

“Collectively, these fine-scale losses have been very difficult to quantify,” said Wayne Walker, an associate scientist at Woods Hole and one of the report’s authors. “While they don’t seem like much in any given place, when you add them up across an areas as big as the tropics, they can be huge.” –Georgina Gustin (Death by 1,000 Cuts: Why the Forest Carbon Sink Is Disappearing | InsideClimate News).

The Swiss company hoping to capture 1% of global CO2 emissions by 2025 #DAC

GR:  I would prefer to have entrepreneurs work first on replacing fossil fuels with solar collectors, however carbon capture (CC) has an obvious role to play in dealing with our climate emergency. And why wouldn’t we want to clean our atmosphere? However, it isn’t comforting that some see CC as an alternative to cutting emissions.

“On the roof of a waste incinerator outside Zurich, the Swiss firm Climeworks has built the world’s first commercial plant to suck CO2 directly from the air.

“Climeworks says that its direct air capture (DAC) process – a form of negative emissions often considered too expensive to be taken seriously – costs $600 per tonne of CO2 today. This is partly covered by selling the CO2 to a nearby fruit and vegetable grower for use in its greenhouse.

“Climeworks hopes to get this down to $100/tCO2 by 2025 or 2030. It aims to be capturing 1% of global CO2 emissions each year by 2025.

“Carbon Brief travelled to the opening of the plant and interviewed co-founder Christoph Gebald to find out more about Climeworks’ ambitions, how the technology works and how it might contribute to global climate goals.” –Simon Evans (The Swiss company hoping to capture 1% of global CO2 emissions by 2025 | Carbon Brief)

Climate Change Facts & Figures

Here’s an excellent video/graph showing atmospheric CO2 changes through time.

The next video shows how global CO2 levels change around the world.

 

 

 

 

1980 View of CO2 and Global Warming–Must-See Video

Global Warming in 1980

This video gives insight to the progress of science on this issue.  Must see.

Go here for the latest on global warming and climate change.