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Posted Wed Mar 11 2009: from Christian Science Monitor:
Canada’s carbon sink has sprung a leak
Billions of tiny mountain pine beetles are treating Canada’s boreal forest like a 3,000-mile-long salad bar, transforming a key absorber of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas into a CO2 emitter instead. In just a decade, exploding beetle populations and a rise in wildfires have flipped Canada’s boreal forest from its longstanding role as a natural carbon vacuum – sucking up 55 million or more tons of CO2 annually – to that of a giant tailpipe emitting up to 245 million tons of CO2 each year, according to the Canadian Forest Service. That sharp about-face is raising questions about the future of northern forests worldwide that are being hit hard by global warming – including Russia’s massive boreal expanse, where wildfires have risen dramatically.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, carbon sinks, climate impacts, forests, holyshit]
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