Study: Cleared Tropical Forest Regrowth Helps Slow Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Instead of banning logging in the Amazon, climate activists should encourage managed logging, to help draw down more CO2 from the atmosphere.

Tropical forests can recover surprisingly quickly on deforested lands – and letting them regrow naturally is an effective and low-cost way to slow climate change

December 10, 2021 6.03am AEDT

Robin Chazdon Professor Emerita of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut

Bruno Hérault Tropical Forest Scientist, Forests & Societies Research Unit, Cirad

Catarina Conte Jakovac Associate professor of Plant Science, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Lourens Poorter Professor of Functional Ecology, Wageningen University

Tropical forests are among the world’s best tools for fighting climate change and the loss of wild species. They store huge quantities of carbon, shelter thousands of plants and animals and are home to Indigenous peoples who sustain them. That’s why more than 100 world leaders pledged to halt deforestation by 2030 at the recent United Nations conference on climate change in Glasgow.

Many organizations and communities are working to restore native forests by reclaiming unproductive or abandoned land and carrying out costly tree-planting efforts. These efforts are designed to encourage the return of native plants and animals and to recover the ecological functions and goods that those forests once provided. But in many cases forests can recover naturally, with little or no human assistance. 

We are forest ecologists and members of a collaborative research network that studies secondary forests – those that regrow naturally after an area has been cleared and cultivated or grazed. In a newly published study in the journal Science, our group pioneers an approach to forest recovery that provides insights from over 2,200 forest plots in naturally regrowing tropical forests across the American and West African tropics. 

Our research shows that tropical forests recover surprisingly quickly: They can regrow on abandoned lands and recover many of their old-growth features, such as soil health, tree attributes and ecosystem functions, in as little as 10 to 20 years. However, to support effective forest restoration and planning, it is important to understand how quickly different forest functions and attributes recover.

Our findings show that tropical forest regrowth is an effective and low-cost, nature-based strategy for promoting sustainable developmentrestoring ecosystemsslowing climate change and protecting biodiversity. And since regrown forests in areas where the land has not been heavily damaged quickly recover many of their key attributes, forest recovery doesn’t always require planting trees.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Multidimensional tropical forest recovery

Lourens Poorter Dylan Craven, Catarina C. Jakovac, Masha T. van der Sande, Lucy Amissah, Frans Bongers, Robin L. Chazdon, Caroline E. Farrior, Stephan Kambach, Jorge A. Meave, Rodrigo Muñoz, Natalia Norden, Nadja Rüger, Michiel van Breugel, Angélica María Almeyda Zambrano Bienvenu Amani, José Luis Andrade, Pedro H. S. Brancalion, Eben N. Broadbent, Hubert de Foresta Daisy H. Dent, Géraldine Derroire, Saara J. DeWalt, Juan M. Dupuy, Sandra M. Durán, Alfredo C. Fantini, Bryan Finegan, Alma Hernández-Jaramillo José Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Peter Hietz, André B. Junqueira, Justin Kassi N’dja Susan G. Letcher, Madelon Lohbeck, René López-Camacho, Miguel Martínez-Ramos, Felipe P. L. Melo, Francisco Mora, Sandra C. Müller, Anny E. N’Guessan, Florian Oberleitner, Edgar Ortiz-Malavassi, Eduardo A. Pérez-García Bruno X. Pinho, Daniel Piotto, Jennifer S. Powers, Susana Rodríguez-Buriticá, Danaë M. A. Rozendaal, Jorge Ruíz, Marcelo Tabarelli, Heitor Mancini Teixeira, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barretto Sampaio Hans van der Wal, Pedro M. Villa, Geraldo W. Fernandes, Braulio A. Santos, José Aguilar-Cano, Jarcilene S. de Almeida-Cortez, Esteban Alvarez-Davila, Felipe Arreola-Villa Patricia Balvanera, Justin M. Becknell, George A. L. Cabral, Carolina Castellanos-Castro, Ben H. J. de Jong, Jhon Edison Nieto Mário M. Espírito-Santo, Maria C. Fandino, Hernando García, Daniel García-Villalobos, Jefferson S. Hall, Alvaro Idárraga, Jaider Jiménez-Montoya, Deborah Kennard, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Rita Mesquita, Yule R. F. Nunes, Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Marielos Peña-Claros, Nathalia Pérez-Cárdenas, Jorge Rodríguez-Velázquez Lucía Sanaphre Villanueva, Naomi B. Schwartz, Marc K. Steininger, Maria D. M. Veloso, Henricus F. M. Vester Ima C. G. Vieira, G. Bruce Williamson Kátia Zanini and Bruno Hérault

Resilient secondary tropical forests?

Although deforestation is rampant across the tropics, forest has a strong capacity to regrow on abandoned lands. These “secondary” forests may increasingly play important roles in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and landscape restoration. Poorter et al. analyzed the patterns of recovery in forest attributes (related to soil, plant functioning, structure, and diversity) in 77 secondary forest sites in the Americas and West Africa. They found that different attributes recovered at different rates, with soil recovering in less than a decade and species diversity and biomass recovering in little more than a century. The authors discuss how these findings can be applied in efforts to promote forest restoration. —AMS


Tropical forests disappear rapidly because of deforestation, yet they have the potential to regrow naturally on abandoned lands. We analyze how 12 forest attributes recover during secondary succession and how their recovery is interrelated using 77 sites across the tropics. Tropical forests are highly resilient to low-intensity land use; after 20 years, forest attributes attain 78% (33 to 100%) of their old-growth values. Recovery to 90% of old-growth values is fastest for soil (<1 decade) and plant functioning (<2.5 decades), intermediate for structure and species diversity (2.5 to 6 decades), and slowest for biomass and species composition (>12 decades). Network analysis shows three independent clusters of attribute recovery, related to structure, species diversity, and species composition. Secondary forests should be embraced as a low-cost, natural solution for ecosystem restoration, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation.

Read more (paywalled):

People who believe logging tropical forests is a problem have never attempted to control a tropical garden during Wet Season.

The plant growth rates have to be seen to be believed. Knee high grass in one to two weeks. A weed which turns out to be a fast growing stealth Eucalypt, which grows so fast you notice one day you have a tree brushing the upstairs balcony, threatening to become unmanageable, which wasn’t there a few months ago. Thankfully I caught it before it put on bulk and became dangerously heavy, and started dropping big branches all over important stuff.

Plants which live in such regions love warm, sunny, wet weather – and tropical forests are no exception.

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December 12, 2021 10:05 pm

Logging is not deforestation

Reply to  Hans Erren
December 13, 2021 12:22 am

Exactly. and deforestation is what happens in the Amazon.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 1:05 am

No we are doing a Nick and defining the Amazon as scrub so it’s fine to clear it.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 3:10 am

some is- the land converted to cattle ranches- but real logging occurs there also, with little in the way of silvicultural work designed by professional foresters

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 5:10 am

Lie spewing liar, just like every time you say anything.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 7:15 am

I’m getting the impression that griff really doesn’t know the meanings of the word it uses.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 7:55 am

I guess you missed the part about trees growing back. This year’s “deforestation” is next year’s new growth. Trees are a renewable resource, much to the chagrin of the tree huggers lamenting the loss of trees. But they aren’t the brightest bulbs in the room. They were too busy smoking weed during school to pay attention to hard stuff like how gardens grow. The timber industry has been harvesting and planting forests for a century. It’s good business to replant your crops after harvesting as every farmer and pot grower knows.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 8:37 am

Break out of your binary thinking. Very few things in life are black/white.

Expand your mind to see the full scale. A full mature forest is a good thing, but if it means people starving and not reaching their full potential, not so much. A happy mix of people living in a sustainable forest environment, harvesting trees, growing food, even grazing animals is a better thing.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 9:09 am

Nature nearly wiped out the Rain forests by the end of the last Glaciation period in Brazil and surrounding areas as they were being replaced by Savannas and similar and all over the tropical basins too.

Here is an excellent website that covers it well:


What are tropical rainforests?

Try reading up on history next time.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 13, 2021 12:49 pm

No. Tropical rainforests were (are) in the climate zone least affected by the Pleistocene and are Cretaceous in origin, little changed over the entire Cenozoic Era.

Graham, Alan. 2010. Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic History of Latin American Vegetation and Terrestrial Environments is the most well-researched compendium of SA paleobotany and a much better source than a politically motivated “enviro” site.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 13, 2021 1:22 pm

Thank you for your reply on this but you didn’t post anything beyond the title of a published book which I searched and found that has 617 papers in it not going to read it.

Then decided to look for more on this to see if others also support your claim, here is a good one when it appears that what I learned long ago has been replaced with newer research showing that the Amazon Tropical Rain Forest by area changed little.

Tropical rain forest thrived throughout last Ice Age


However other sources state there was a reduction of the Amazon Tropical Rain Forest due to significant cooler temperature and rainfall.

Ice Age Refuges


The Citations in MY post gives in support of the article I posted.

It appears there is current argument ongoing to determine the true extent of the changes in the Amazon basin.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sunsettommy
Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 13, 2021 2:37 pm

You refuse to read the seminal source, the “bible” of SA paleobotany, because it’s too long? But you do cite a science-challenged self-flatulating fear porn website?

That’s called stuck on stupid. How very woke of you.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 13, 2021 8:52 pm

It is on YOU to post the quotes and or page of a 617-page book you posted since it was YOU who made claims behind it against my initial post which is why I decided to expand my research on this ended up posting two links based on published research.

It is hilarious that YOU expect me to spend a few hours to read the book not going to bother it is 10 years old and NOT a published science paper with few views and NO citations listed.

You are so quick to attack me who has made clear that I am backing off from my initial statements about it when I later stated there appears to be a shift from the original viewpoint that it was shrunken into areas of Savannas now that first link, I posted seems to support YOUR contention.

Then decided to look for more on this to see if others also support your claim, here is a good one when it appears that what I learned long ago has been replaced with newer research showing that the Amazon Tropical Rain Forest by area changed little.

Here is that link again with the title that clearly support YOUR claim and from University of Michighan

Tropical rain forest thrived throughout last Ice Age

Now I will be more cautious in my statements in the future since I leaned something new.

Maybe you should slow down and stop being an ass?

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 14, 2021 5:30 pm

The Book has over 4,000 scientific literature citations. The author summarizes over 350 paleofloras. It is THE reference for SA paleobotany.

You want me to hold your hand? To provide you with a chapter or two? What a spoiled brat. Do your homework. It may take you a decade or more to come up to speed on the topic, if ever, so get cracking. You wokesters think education is easy and free; well it’s not.

And next time you think your dilettante cursory fly by impressions are worthy of BIG RED FONT blather on a real science website, think again.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 15, 2021 8:53 am

It is clear you are never going to quote or post the pages relevant to your claims thus you have FAILED to make your case.

Your insults are not helping your credibility either and I never said anything negative about your book source in the first place, it may indeed be a solid source but with 617 pages I don’t have the time to read it up as YOU say there are huge number of citations available which requires yet a lot more time to catch up on.

Meanwhile you keep ignoring my statements allowing for newer research showing the Tropics didn’t change much meaning that I am probably out of date, I have learned some new research that the likely assumptions of widespread savannahs are simply wrong.

That big red font article actually supports YOU, LOL!

Here is the blog policy you should consider when you get overly emotional to someone who has been reasonably civil to you:

Respect is given to those with manners, those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted.

Trolls, flame-bait, personal attacks, thread-jacking, sockpuppetry, name-calling such as “denialist,” “denier,” and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion may get deleted; 


Be glad I have thick skin as a Moderator to allow your unnecessarily hostile and insulting posts be left intact.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 15, 2021 9:06 am

You wrote this statement:

And next time you think your dilettante cursory fly by impressions are worthy of BIG RED FONT blather on a real science website, think again.

That big red font article is from the UNIVERSITY of MICHIGHAN who talked science research of one of their scientists who published,

“These data will come as quite a shock to many paleoclimatologists,” said Paul A. Colinvaux, a research scientist at the University of Michigan Center for Great Lakes and Aquatic Sciences and senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. “They contradict the widespread belief that a drier climate during the last Ice Age turned the Amazon lowlands into a savanna with isolated pockets of rain forest.”

You going to ignore the coauthors too?

“Colinvaux’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society and the Mellon Foundation.”



It is clear you didn’t read the article that supports YOUR claims about the tropics.

I once suggested that you slow down, but alas you make a fool of yourself instead.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 10:28 am

Most deforestation there is for growing crops for biofuels.
Awful, right Griff?

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 11:25 am

Feeding DRAX is deforestation.

Reply to  Hans Erren
December 13, 2021 8:47 am

Sequestration of CO2 by industrial methods is so expensive, but never included in the calculations, that it actually makes no sense to cut down a square mile of living forest so that it can be replanted and be forest again in 80 years. By the time that 80 years has passed, you have cut down 80 more square miles to feed Drax-like unsequestration projects. Dead fall and wildfire fuel is a different story, but wood pelletizing mostly involves clearcutting and replanting to feel green.
It takes 120 years before your forest management replanting breaks even. You can do your own spreadsheet on it.

Last edited 1 year ago by DMacKenzie
Steve Case
December 12, 2021 10:21 pm

Forest management including logging before it burns is good policy. Too bad our friends on the left don’t understand that. Well the big kahunas on the left do, but good forest management or any other sort of ecological stewardship isn’t what they are all about. They are about managing you.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 13, 2021 12:23 am

That doesn’t apply in tropical rainforest.

and there are several areas of the world with excellent forest management now seeing more and damaging fires thanks to climate change. In Australia, even wet rain forest now burns.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 1:08 am

ROFL even wet rain forest burns 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by LdB
Coeur de Lion
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 1:35 am

Griff, there’s an Australian Government website which does the history of Australian wildfires all the way back to 1850. Educative. Similarly take a look at North American wildfires which were ten times as extensive in the 1930s. By the way, I do think it’s wrong for people to be so rude to you!

Bill Toland
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 1:51 am

Griff, the satellite data from Nasa says that wildfires are declining worldwide.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Bill Toland
December 13, 2021 1:54 am

That last image is not very clear. Here is another one.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Bill Toland
December 13, 2021 2:02 am

Here is another image from 1900 to 2020.

Reply to  Bill Toland
December 13, 2021 8:16 am

While that is interesting, anyone can make an art project. Do you claim it is based on data? What data? available where?

Bill Toland
Reply to  AndyHce
December 13, 2021 9:05 am
Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 2:28 am

griff, you seem to be unable to understand very simple, basic biological concepts.

For instance, the idea that ecosystems burn. Yes, they ALL burn naturally! Either they burn by respiration or they burn by fire (the chemical end-result is almost the same). This is the basis for their long-term “equilibrium” (sorry, I shall not go further in the discussion of what is that “equilibrium”: this comment is not a course on ecology). If what is captured (primary production, carbohydrates from atmospheric CO2) does not equate with what is exported (out of the ecosystem) plus what is “consumed” in its trophic networks (herbivores to carnivores, both to decomposers when they die, and all those chain-links liberating that captured carbon to the atmosphere or leaving a MINIMAL PART OF IT IN SOIL for a LONGER period, not for eternity, by respiration to get their maintenance energy), then you have some sort of inbalance: either a surplus or a deficit. If it is a deficit, the ecosystem will change naturally into another, with replacement of communities, species, etc., one system and species composition that will in a certain sense “optimize” the new possible energy budget; on the other hand, if there is a surplus, then there is an increasing amount of flammable fuel, and any “accident” (be it a thunderstorm or a lighted match thrown away carelessly) will start a fire and … (sound drums, please!… ) restore the state of “equilibrium” of the ecosystem.

Simple as that, no models needed, just the four plain arithmetic operations that we learn when we start our school years. griff, you spend too much time hearing and reading catastrophic others instead of studying the basics about which you are trying to have an opinion; and then you come here not to expose your ideas, made by yourself from what you have studied, but to repeat endlessly all the garbage that you absorbed when hearing and reading those catastrophic narratives of some idiots devoid of scientific training, knowledge and experience on those subjects.

“Time is always ripe to do right”, as Martin Luther King wrote from his jail. You still can get out of your jail and do right. As we say, a saint is a sinner who never gave up: if you are concerned with the Earth environment, just start to study what it is so that you can understand it; and in so doing, understanding also what is achievable by human technology or action, and what is so much mighty than that and is not even close of what humans can or are able to do. Take this advice from an old man who most certainly will not be here to suffer the consequences of the mistakes that you are willing to make: the victims will be you and those younger than you. Among those mistakes, chosing to remain ignorant and act by superstition is the worst and more dangerous.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 2:33 am

there are several areas of the world with excellent forest management now seeing more and damaging fires thanks to…”

Rogue academics and other fire starters.

Reply to  fretslider
December 13, 2021 4:30 am

Hey! That wasn’t arson. That was “Forest Management.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket… forest management.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 5:12 am

And yet more lie spew from the lie spewing liar.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 7:16 am

And just why doesn’t it apply in tropical rainforests? Or is that just what you are being paid to peddle this week?

PS: Read up on slash and burn, people have been burning rainforests for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Last edited 1 year ago by MarkW
Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 10:26 am

Griff, keep up! Your socialist California government says the recent wildfires were fed by poor forest management practices. Foot solders that don’t keep up with evolving dogma will be canceled.

December 13, 2021 12:07 am

Growing trees need fertiliser. Fully grown ones, not so much.

December 13, 2021 12:22 am

Except the logged area is not left to regrow, is it? It is usually cattle pasture or other agricultural use.

(This is one of the most stupid suggestions I’ve ever seen… ‘let them log it so it regrows’)

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 2:54 am

Well thanks for clearing up any confusion, griff. You aren’t a fan of ‘agricultural use’.

Have you any items in your house made from wood? Does your conscience not bother you?

Reply to  fretslider
December 13, 2021 7:20 am

griff isn’t a fan of people, period.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2021 9:24 am

It seems that hating people has been a prerequisite for
liberals since they first got power:

Everybody can be hated, even Lenin’s “useful idiots”. It’s just
a matter of time until you are no longer useful:

Hey, Griff, you had better watch your back!!!

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 5:00 am

Europe including the UK cleared lots of there forests, so why exactly does Brazil not have the right to do the same? Personally my family cleared 2000 acres of trees from our property so I am in no position to ask someone else not to clear their property.

Reply to  LdB
December 13, 2021 7:16 am

We need a UN coalition to invade Brazil and put a stop to this for the good of the planet

Reply to  menace
December 13, 2021 9:01 am

Careful, you need to identify comments like that with the /sarc tag or some brain trust in government (AOC?) will introduce legislation to start a war to save the planet.

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 5:23 am

And even more lies spewed by the lie spewing liar. Thats three in one thread! Did mommy leave you alone with her computer again?

Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 7:20 am

So every square foot that is logged, is converted to cattle or crop?
griff, do you ever stop to actually think about how stupid the stuff you post is?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
December 13, 2021 7:51 am


There are 4 main authors and 76 others who have put their name to this. They are all forest ecologists and members of a collective research network that studies secondary forests,

But you know better than them! You are unbelievable.

Coeur de Lion
December 13, 2021 1:39 am

Over their lifetimes forests are CO2 neutral. CO2 doesn’t drive to weather anyway.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
December 13, 2021 7:22 am

….the northern boreal forest contains millions of tons of CO2 sequestered only over the last 80 centuries. That forest didn’t exist during the last glaciation, so “their lifetimes” is only part of the cycle….

Peta of Newark
December 13, 2021 1:48 am

wrap up warm folks

Karl Johan Grimstad
December 13, 2021 2:10 am

Noen miss forståelser her det kommer an på hva man bruker tømmeret til. Uansett så lenge tre vokser så bindes det riktig nokk CO2 men Celleåndingen gjør at tre også frigjør CO2 til atmosfæren det er det karbonkretsløpet handler om Varme- CO2 fra jordsmonet til atmosfæren opptak i tre fra tre til atmosfæren, De som kaller seg økologer burte forstå det.

Climate believer
Reply to  Karl Johan Grimstad
December 13, 2021 4:44 am

“Some misunderstandings here depend on what the timber is used for. No matter how long wood grows, CO2 is bound enough, but cell respiration means that wood also releases CO2 into the atmosphere. This is what the carbon cycle is about. .”

Not a whole lot of Norwegian spoken here Karl 😉

Ron Long
December 13, 2021 2:16 am

“Plant growth rates have to be seen to be believed.” I grew up in SW Oregon, in timber country, and my father fought against black berries all his life. Sure, SW Oregon is not tropical, but the point is that a plant species in its perfect environment will grow amazingly quickly. Who won? Where my fathers ashes are is covered over by black berries.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Ron Long
December 13, 2021 10:34 am

Love blackberry season when visiting the coast in august (must keep head up for bears), but if someone planted some in my neighborhood in calgary i would buy some napalm.

December 13, 2021 2:31 am

Tropical forests disappear rapidly because of deforestation, yet they have the potential to regrow naturally on abandoned lands.”

To quote Jeff Goldblum “life finds a way”

Sadly as we only have 8 or 9 years left to save the planet it’s all come rather too late:

An international group of researchers has found that tropical forests have the potential to almost fully regrow if they are left untouched by humans for about 20 years.

Bad news for the Carbon offset crew…

The takeaway message is that we don’t necessarily need to plant more trees when nature is doing it by itself, Poorter said.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  fretslider
December 13, 2021 3:27 am

tree planting often fails- the “native vegetation” will out compete it- and planting is expensive- then if you carry that cost for several decades before the next harvest- that cost grows tremendously- better to let the forest replant itself- except in areas where the forestry work is extremely intense like the American southeast and they have centuries of experience so they know what will work

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 13, 2021 4:12 am

tree planting often fails- the “native vegetation” will out compete it- “

I’m puzzled as to why anyone would plant non native species.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  fretslider
December 13, 2021 4:27 am

It happens- to grow species that will have higher future value for timber. They may be native also, but they may not be ideal for that specific location- compared to other native species. And, the ones planted are usually not “early succesion” species which tend to do better on disturbed sites.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 13, 2021 4:32 am

That doesn’t seem to be the case in the UK. A lot of the wood we use – like Drax, for example – is imported

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  fretslider
December 13, 2021 4:46 am

no doubt you have to import almost everything- so, nothing wrong with importing wood

most comes from the American southeast- which prides itself on being the “woodbasket for the planet”- it is an extremely productive area for wood products of all sorts- very, very intensive mgt.

not the kind of forestry I prefer, here in Massachusetts- here it’s much less intense- mostly consisting of thinning the forest every 20-30 years- I don’t clear cut- just keep thinning the forest leaving those trees that look healthy and are producing value- what’s removed might be used for many products- construction, furniture, firewood, pulp and a small amount for chips/pellets- but the greens in this part of America hate woody biomass- and pretty much all forestry

December 13, 2021 4:49 am

“Tropical forests disappear rapidly because of deforestation” 

I wonder who composed this gem. Deforestation is the removal of forest, so the forest of course disappears rapidly as it is removed, instantaneously in fact. It is like saying, “When you have died, you are rapidly dead.”

Aside from poor composition, their main point appears to be that land use change in tropical regions is a major contributor to net carbon flux to the atmosphere. Therefore, slowing and eventually reversing deforestation (i.e., changing land use back to forest) would work to lower atmospheric CO2, possibly balancing or reversing the trend without making any significant changes in fossil fuel combustion. However, myriad are the reasons/causes for tropical land use change — Energy poverty, foolhardy land clearing to grow crops for biofuels, crude subsistence agriculture with a locally growing population, etc. Climate change is NOT the cause, Griff, except indirectly because of poor public policy reactions to the FEAR of climate change.

December 13, 2021 5:11 am

New growth intakes more CO2 than old growth, that is all that needs to be said.

Walter Horsting
December 13, 2021 7:07 am

Few know how lucky we are to live during in a Mild Thaw up out of the coldest era of the past 8,000 years called the Little Ice Age

There is no justification to spend $150 Trillion fighting the essential trace gas of life that is CO2:

December 13, 2021 7:58 am

unknown knowns resurface occasionally as known unknown knowns depending on if you knew or not.

Pat from Kerbob
December 13, 2021 10:39 am

If the objective is to capture CO2 then burning the forest after cutting it seems zero sum?
Cutting it and using the wood for permanent structures, sure. If you think CO2 is a problem.

But seems like there will never be enough forest to cut.

With the push for bio-jet fuel complete the destruction of remaining wild areas and price food out of reach?

Mike Dubrasich
December 13, 2021 1:09 pm

It’s a modern myth that Amazonia is a virgin wilderness. Human beings have been manipulating Amazon forests for more than 14,000 years with fire, species selection, earth and soil movements, canal and road construction, and other treatments. Widespread civilizations have risen and fallen over the millennia, and with them repeated forest clearing and regrowth.

There’s nothing new to see here, folks, although there is much to learn about the past. In addition, for what it’s worth, CO2 is not the Control Knob and is entirely beneficial, while CO2 panic is useless and stupid.

Bill Everett
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 14, 2021 9:50 am

Why is it that no one seems to notice that OCO-2 data has revealed higher CO2 levels at the locations of forests than in areas of less vegetation. This would seem to indicate that broadleaf forests are sources of increased CO2 not just depositories for CO2. Surely, research using OCO-2 data is called for to determine if accepted science about the relationship of vegetation and CO2 presence is accurate.

December 14, 2021 2:37 pm

If one has ever tried to keep vegetation from taking over a completely cleared area in the tropical jungle one quickly learns that it is an impossible task that takes continuous effort and still usually fails.Jungle is incredibly invasive and in matter of weeks or months immense amounts of vegetation return. In a few years it is hard to find the cleared area and in a decade the only way to tell what has been cleared is to EXTREMELY laboriously, cut through the area to measure trunk size and height. Only by comparing to a known old forest can you get any idea what was cleared a decade before.
It really is amazing how strong the jungle is.

Last edited 1 year ago by CultivatingMan
December 14, 2021 3:13 pm

I am growing very tired indeed of posts which pretend there is something good about worsening the carbon dioxide starvation of our atmosphere. CO2 is the basis of photosynthesis, which makes food–for every living thing.
If you care about quantity and variety of life on Earth, then you want to approach the optimum, which is at least 1100 ppm CO2, the amount used in greenhouses.
More CO2 in the atmosphere is GOOD. Less is DEATH!

It is very good to enrich the soil, even though this will reduce atmospheric CO2.

More atmospheric CO2 is probably directly beneficial for human health as well.

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