Simple stuff really: forests are good for the environment and we ought to have more of them.
The researchersâ€™ calculations suggest that carbon storage in Midwestern forests could offset the greenhouse gas emissions of almost two-thirds of nearby populations, and that proper management of forests could sustain or increase their storage capacity for future generations.
Based on measurements taken between 1999 and 2005 at a forest study site in northern Michigan, the scientists have determined that similar upper Midwest forests covering an estimated 40,000 square miles store an average of 1,300 pounds of carbon per acre per year.
Factoring in effects of climate, history and tree type, the researchers developed an equation suggesting that a heavily forested region in northern Michigan could store more than 350,000 tons of carbon per year. With the area population emitting about 573,000 tons of carbon annually, the forests would sequester approximately 62 percent of the regionâ€™s human-caused carbon emissions â€“ the equivalent of yearly emissions from about 225,000 cars.