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Posted Thu Nov 12 2009: from Mongabay:
Boreal forests contain more carbon than tropical forest per hectare
A new report states that boreal forests store nearly twice as much carbon as tropical forests per hectare: a fact which researchers say should make the conservation of boreal forests as important as tropical in climate change negotiations. The report from the Canadian Boreal Initiative and the Boreal Songbird Initiative, entitled "The Carbon the World Forgot", estimates that the boreal forest -- which survives in massive swathes across Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, and Russia -- stores 22 percent of all carbon on the earth's land surface. According to the study the boreal contains 703 gigatons of carbon, while the world's tropical forests contain 375 gigatons.... Researchers explain that while tropical forests store most of their carbon in vegetation, boreal forests store vast amounts of the greenhouse gas deep in permafrost soil and peatlands in addition to its trees. Cold temperatures prevent the complete breakdown of dead biomass in the boreal, so that carbon is accumulated over time, sometimes even millennia. Scientists have found carbon that has been locked away for 8,000 years.
[Read more stories about: forests, carbon sequestration, rain forest depletion]

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'Doc Jim says:
All right! We can still burn rainforests for palm oil plantations!
Not to mention that a warming world will likely change the sequestration properties of cold-dependent boreal ecosystems.

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