You are at Toxics Alert > News > Tropical trees on a fast growth diet
Toxics Alert, an environment news bulletin from toxics link Toxics Link
Issue 11
, 2009
View issue number:
  Home  |  Editorial  |  Feature  |  Interview  |  News  |  Policy  |  Updates  |  Reports / International News  |  Partner


Tropical trees on a fast growth diet

Trees getting taller, soaking more emissions
Source: Reuters, Date: , 2009

tropical treesTropical trees have grown bigger over the past 40 years and now absorb 20% of fossil fuel emissions from the atmosphere, highlighting the need to preserve threatened forests, British researchers said .Using data collected from nearly 250,000 trees in the world’s tropical forests over the past 40 years, their study found that tropical forests across the world remove 4.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.The researchers do not know exactly why trees are getting bigger and mopping up more carbon but they suspect that extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be acting like a fertilizer.While nature has provided a free subsidy for dealing with carbon emissions, it is one that won't last forever because trees can only grow so much bigger, said Simon Lewis, an ecologist at the University of Leeds who led the study.