Bark Lacks Bite
Planting vast numbers of trees may stall the process of climate change for a few years but will not help solve the problem, according to research conducted by scientists for the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and published in New Scientist magazine. Forests absorb carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, but the new research indicates that planned forests will soon become saturated with carbon and start returning it to the atmosphere, a process that could be sped up by rising temperatures. The research calls into question the plans of countries such as the U.S., which would like to plant their way out of trouble by creating new forests to soak up their CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, international negotiators are preparing to head to Bonn, Germany, for a round of climate change talks beginning on Oct. 25. The meeting is likely to be dominated by disagreements over emissions trading, which Europe wants to limit and the U.S. does not.