worse than we thought – carbon storage in forests!

One more example of how we’ve understimated climate change: New Scientist is reporting that researchers in Australia have found that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has wrongly estimated the carbon storage potential of pristine temperate forests.

According to this data, intact forests store 60% more carbon than plantation forests. Brendan Mackey of the Australian National University] and colleagues used remote sensing and direct sampling to study eucalyptus trees at 240 sites across a 14.5-million hectare swathe of natural forest in south-east Australia.

Plugging the data into a computer, the team calculated that trees in areas untouched by logging store on average 640 tonnes of carbon per hectare, compared with an IPCC estimate for temperate forest of 217 tonnes.

Treehugger, 5 Aug 2008