Trees in Borneo Soak Up More CO2 Than Trees in the Amazon

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MY COMMENT: How will this affect climate models?

If there was just one place in the world where it would make sense to protect trees, maintain the rainforest and damp down global warming, scientists have confirmed that it would be the island of Borneo.

A new research report published in the Journal of Ecology says that while the Amazon rainforest might be the biggest and most important area of green canopy on the planet, Borneo soaks up, tree for tree, more carbon from the atmosphere.

Lindsay Banin, an ecologist at the UK-based Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEU), and colleagues from Malaysia, Brunei, the U.S., Brazil, Taiwan, Peru and Ecuador investigated what is called above-ground wood production—the most visible, tangible indicator of carbon uptake—to see how forests in Amazonia and Indonesia measured up as consumers of atmospheric carbon.

The tropical rainforests cover only one-tenth of the planet’s land surface, but they account for about one-third of the terrestrial primary production—that is, about one-third of the conversion of sunlight into greenery happens in the tropical forests—and they soak up about half of all terrestrial carbon.

Borneo Dipterocarp

Borneo is home to the largest number of Dipterocarp species on the planet—more than 270 have been identified. They can reach up to 60 meters when fully mature. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

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The Man Who Planted A Forest

plantedforest
Thirty-four years ago when he began to plant trees, no one, including him, had the slightest idea that his effort would give birth to an entire forest.

It all began with a dream he had in 1979 to plant trees on barren land for small animals and birds to build their homes on the tree tops.

Chasing his dream, Jadav Payeng, then a young lad, belonging to the Mishing tribal community in Jorhat district, in the north eastern state of Assam, began to plant trees regularly.

Decades later, the trees have transformed into a lush forest covering 550 hectares of land, home to wild elephants, tigers, rhinos and deer.

Similarly, he is growing trees on another 150 hectares of land, which is adjacent to the first forest he helped plant.
jadav_payeng
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