Some good news: half a billion acres of "hidden" carbon sink forests

It's becoming increasingly clear that all the renewable energy deployment we can muster isn't going to be enough to keep us below 2 degrees C warming. In addition to turning off the carbon emission spigot, we have to be draining more carbon from the atmosphere, especially through soils.  So this story from Thompson Reuters Foundation is particularly good news:

Vast tracts of land previously considered barren are actually covered by forests "hiding in plain sight", scientists said on Friday, a discovery that could help the fight against climate change and desertification.

An international team of researchers led by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) used new technology to analyse high-resolution images from Google Earth and map forest coverage in drylands worldwide.

They found that trees like baobab and acacia shade 467 million more hectares of land than previously thought - an area roughly equal to half the size of the United States - increasing estimates of global forest cover by at least nine percent...

Read the full Thomson Reuters article. (And thank you MacArthur Foundation "Morning Climate" newsletter for the tip!)

The research paper, published in Science, is here.

 

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