Much attention is focused on reducing carbon emissions, but it’s easy to forget that there’s already a natural mechanism designed to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and that needs to be maintained as well.
Yes, forests are an important part of the climate change solution. While reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is vital, deforestation will only make the job of balancing global temperatures that much harder. This infographic from the American Forest Foundation (via Sustainablog) explains it all.
According to the graphic, there are 751 million acres of forest in the U.S., and they counteract greenhouse-gas emissions by roughly 13 percent. However, 58 million of those acres–and area about the size of Georgia and South Carolina combined–are considered threatened.
It’s not just the trees, either. Wood products currently capture 70 million metric tons of CO2 annually, so both standing forests and the products we make from them have a big roll to play in combating climate change.
Check out the full info graphic for more forest facts, and try not to make Smokey the Bear cry the next time you go camping.