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All About: Forests and carbon trading

Source:  Copyright 2008, CNN
Date:  February 10, 2008
Byline:  Rachel Oliver
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Cutting down trees is pretty much one of the worst things you can do when it comes to climate change. Deforestation, by varying accounts, contributes anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent of all carbon dioxide (C02) emissions -- around 1.6 billion tons.

When you cut down trees you get a double whammy. First of all, they are not called the lungs of the Earth for nothing -- we clearly need trees so that we and other animals can breathe. Trees also are in the front line against pollution, breathing in millions of tons of greenhouse gases a year that they store in their trunks.

According to the United Nations' Environmental Programme (UNEP), trees store a staggering 283 gigatons of carbon in their biomass. When that is combined with the carbon found in the surrounding deadwood and soil, the result is 50 percent more carbon than is currently found in the atmosphere. When those trees are felled or burned -- trees that are comprised of ...

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