Study: Wood Builds Healthy Climate
November 25, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
SEATTLE, Nov. 23 (UPI) — A study funded by the U.S. Forest Service suggests harvesting trees for construction can reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The study, led by the University of Washington and published in the journal Forests, says Pacific Northwest trees grown and harvested sustainably can both remove existing carbon dioxide from the air and help keep the gas from entering the atmosphere in the first place. Researchers say the harvested wood must be used as a building material in place of cement and steel, which require more fossil fuels in their manufacture. Also, the wood wastes need to be used for biofuels to displace the use of fossil fuels.
“When it comes to keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, it makes more sense to use trees to recycle as much carbon as we can and offset the burning of fossil fuel than it does to store carbon in standing forests and continuing burning fossil fuels,” Bruce Lippke, University of Washington professor emeritus of forest resources, said Tuesday in a release.
The researchers said wood used for bioenergy can come from the branches and other debris left after harvesting, materials thinned from stands or from plantations of fast-growing trees such as willow.