Re: Re: Re: Prince Charles and the Law of Doomsaying
Another point worth mentioning is that some people think that the forest area in South America is actually increasing, not decreasing. There is a tendency for people to give up farming and move into cities, and 'secondary forest' springs up rapidly on the abandoned farmland.
"These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster."
These new secondary forest areas will have a better cO2 absorbing capability than mature rainforest.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Prince Charles and the Law of Doomsaying
This is analagous to the argument that North America was actually a net sink for carbon during the 20th centurry as re-forestation of the massive area logged during the 18th and 19th centuries took place. I haven't looked at the maths, but the whole of New England was essentially treeless by the mid-1800s and it certainly is't any more.
Of course people of a certain complexion want to argue that a tropical forest is so much more valuable than a temperate forest, but from a carbon sink standpoint, this is just crap.
I would also challenge the suggestion that crop plants doen't account for significant carbon fixation - yields from the major crops have gone up at least 4-fold per hectare in the past 50 years. Now that is a significant fixing of carbon, even if only temporary as it wil be recycled faster than wood from trees.