Thursday, April 10, 2008

Greenpeace warns of 'carbon bomb' from logging practices in Canada's boreal forest

Ottawa Citizen (Canada): Logging activities are destabilizing Canada's boreal forest and could cause a catastrophic explosion of greenhouse gas emissions if no action is taken, warns a new report to be released today. The report, published by Greenpeace Canada and independently reviewed by several academics, says changing logging practices in the boreal forest is just as vital to addressing global warming as reducing emissions from fossil fuels or stopping tropical deforestation.

The report estimates the boreal forest stores 186 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is more than 27 times the world's annual fossil fuel emissions. However, it says the combined threats of forest fires, insect outbreaks, permafrost melting and industrial development are related to the boreal forest's resistance and vulnerability to the impacts of global warming. "If left unchecked, these problems could culminate in a catastrophic scenario known as 'the carbon bomb': a massive release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere driven, for example, by a widespread outbreak of forest or peat fires," says the report, written by Greenpeace forest campaigner Christy Ferguson with Elizabeth Nelson and Geoff Sherman, researchers in the University of Toronto's forestry faculty....

Log raft on its way to Vancouver, Tony Hisgett, Wikimedia Commons

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