Canada: Forests pumping out carbon dioxide due to global warming
Canada continues to fall behind other countries in gaining control of carbon emissions and now the nation's forests are at stake. ENN reports on how Canada's trees are contributing to global warming. Canada's forests compose over 7 percent of the world's total forest lands and are referred to as the "lungs of the planet."
Meant to absorb carbon dioxide, the forests have been so overwhelmed by various environmental stressors they now pump out more carbon dioxide than they take in. The problem is serious and there is debate over the commercial logging industry's future.
...rising temperatures are slowly drying out forest lands, leaving trees more susceptible to fires, which release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, Canadian officials say.
Higher temperatures also are accelerating the spread of the deadly mountain pine beetle, which has devastated tens of thousands of square miles of trees. Bitterly cold Canadian winters used to kill off much of the pine beetle population each year, naturally keeping it in check. But the milder winters of recent years have allowed the insect to proliferate.