Interesting (and free) paper on old-growth forests as carbon sinks:
Few old-growth stands remain in the matrix of secondary forests that dominates the eastern North American landscape. These remnant stands offer insight on the potential carbon (C) storage capacity of now-recovering secondary forests. We surveyed the remaining old-growth forests on sites characteristic of the general Mid-Atlantic United States and estimated the size of multiple components of forest C storage. Within and between old-growth stands, variability in C density is high and related to overstory tree species composition. The sites contain 219 ± 46 Mg C/ha (mean ± SD), including live and dead aboveground biomass, leaf litter, and the soil O horizon, with over 20% stored in downed wood and snags. Stands dominated by tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) store the most live biomass, while the mixed oak (Quercus spp.) stands overall store more dead wood. Total C density is 30% higher (154 Mg C/ha), and dead wood C density is 1800% higher (46 Mg C/ha) in the old-growth forests than in the surrounding younger forests (120 and 5 Mg C/ha, respectively). The high density of dead wood in old growth relative to secondary forests reflects a stark difference in historical land use and, possibly, the legacy of the local disturbance (e.g., disease) history. Our results demonstrate the potential for dead wood to maintain the sink capacity of secondary forests for many decades to come.
Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/10.1890/14-1154.1#
ESA Online Journals – Carbon storage in old-growth forests of the Mid-Atlantic: toward better understanding the eastern forest carbon sink.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the only international climate deal worth having is one that is “legally-binding”. In other words, a treaty which binds states to their commitments under international law.
Pledges Can Work, But It Will Take International Law to Fight Climate Change.
As the United Nations prepares to hold one-day global summit on climate change, we speak to award-winning author Naomi Klein about her new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.” In the book, Klein details how our neoliberal economic system and our planetary system are now at war. With global emissions at an all-time high, Klein says radical action is needed. “We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis,” Klein writes. “We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe — and would benefit the vast majority — are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”
Capitalism vs. the Climate: Naomi Klein on Need for New Economic Model to Address Ecological Crisis | Democracy Now!.