Invest in Energy Forests in Order to Fight Green House Effect

11.09.2007
Energy forests are environmentally sound, non-fossil energy sources and make a renewable and clean alternative to oil. Fuels derived from biomass (like energy forests) are so called carbon neutral fuels. Now recent investigations, carried out by Nordic researchers, show that energy forests contribute considerably to the fight against climate change even before they are felled and used as bio-fuels: Energy forests are big eaters of carbon dioxide.
For the last five years, researchers from Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark have collaborated in a virtual Nordic centre of Excellence (NCoE), the “Nordic centre for studies of ecosystem carbon exchange and its interactions with the climate system” (NECC). The NCoE programme is financed by NordForsk and the Nordic research councils. The aim of the collaboration was to find out how climate change influences different ecosystems in forests, oceans, cities and swamps in the Nordic region.

Energy Forests are big eaters of CO2
A 2007 investigation of energy forests’ carbon dioxide absorption shows that they absorb several times more carbon dioxide than “regular” forests do: approximately 15 tons per hectare per year. Previous studies indicate that the full potential for CO2 absorption in energy forest might even be higher: up to twice as high as the 2007 findings show.

Forests Both Absorb and Release Carbon Dioxide
Regular forest areas absorb much less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Moreover, the NECC researchers found that these forests actually release considerable amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere in cases of storm felling and final felling. The following year after such incidents the forest will give off large amounts of carbon dioxide.

Based on the recent findings and results, Nordic researchers now encourage the political communities to take measures in order to benefit from the great potential for CO2 absorption in energy forests.
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