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19 Feb 2009 05:02:11

Tropical forests said to absorb 18% CO2

Tropical forests said to absorb 18% CO2
Trees in tropical rainforests trap almost a fifth of annual carbon dioxide emissions, according to new research.

Tropical trees are getting bigger and the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb is higher than originally thought, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.

In total, these trees are absorbing 4.8 billion tonnes of CO2, the researchers claim.

"Tropical forest trees are absorbing about 18 per cent of the CO2 added to the atmosphere each year from burning fossil fuels, substantially buffering the rate of climate change," said lead author Dr Simon Lewis.

The value of the CO2 sinks is about £13 billion a year, according to co-author Dr Lee White.

At meetings in Poznan last year to develop a climate change agreement to replace Kyoto, energy and climate change secretary of state Ed Miliband, said the UK would provide £100 million for projects to stop deforestation.

According to the Guardian at the time, establishing exactly how much carbon was stored by trees would be an obstacle to using incentives to halt deforestation as a means to combat climate change.



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