New York Times: Forests Protect the Climate

Hurricanes and other large storms have ravaged forests in recent months. Writing for the New York Times, Henry Fountain reports on the environmental implications after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September. About 23 million to 31 million of the island’s trees were damaged or killed after the hurricane. Researchers are assessing the damage to forests and studying how extreme weather could permanently change forests, hindering environmental balance. “Trees are a critical part of the carbon cycle, in which carbon moves between the atmosphere, ocean and land,” reports Fountain. “They remove atmospheric carbon dioxide, incorporating the carbon into their tissues as they grow. Worldwide, forests are a net storehouse, or sink, of carbon, removing one billion to two billion tons from the atmosphere each year.” After severe damage, the trees die, decompose and return carbon to the atmosphere. New species that prefer a warmer climate replace the older trees. The ecologists warn that some forests may never recover completely. – YaleGlobal

New York Times: Forests Protect the Climate

Researchers use satellite imagery to assess damage to forests in Puerto Rico; the loss of trees will contribute to climate change and more extreme weather
Henry Fountain
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Read the article from the New York Times about how loss of forests will contribute to climate change and more extreme weather.

Henry Fountain covers climate change, with a focus on the innovations that will be needed to overcome it. He is the author of The Great Quake, a book about the 1964 Alaskan earthquake.

© 2018 The New York Times Company