Contrary to most current thinking, the net effect of planting – or cutting down – trees could in theory be zero, or somewhere near that, depending on local factors.
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New research by Christopher A. Williams, an environmental scientist and professor in Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography, reveals that deforestation in the U.S. does not always cause planetary warming, as is commonly assumed; instead, in some places, it actually cools the planet, says Phys.org.
A peer-reviewed study by Williams and his team, “Climate Impacts of U.S. Forest Loss Span Net Warming to Net Cooling,” is published today (Feb. 12) in Science Advances.
The team’s discovery has important implications for policy and management efforts that are turning to forests to mitigate climate change.
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