New England Forests Have Untapped Potential In Fight Against Climate Change


Published:

A new paper published in the Journal of Forestry reveals that New England’s forests can mitigate climate change much more than previously thought. Authors representing three non-profit organizations collaborated to bring together expertise in forest management, climate change science, and policy: The New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), Woods Hole Research Center, and the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. According to the authors, growing sustainable forests and then using forest products in tall wood buildings could capture and store globally significant amounts of carbon while eliminating the carbon pollution from the manufacture of concrete and steel.

“The role of global forests in mitigating climate change was strongly recognized in the Paris Agreement of 2016, but we didn’t go far enough. We now know that additional new approaches could dramatically increase the climate benefits of forest conservation, management and the use of forest products,” explains the report’s lead author Alec Giffen Senior Advisor for the New England Forestry Foundation.

Bob Perschel, co-author and NEFF’s Executive Director, connects the findings to impacts on land ownership and management: “If a portion of New England’s 170,000 private forest landowners can be incentivized to manage their forests for climate mitigation, we can activate powerful approaches to reaching state, regional and national climate mitigation goals.”

In “Seeing Forests for More than Carbon in Trees: Incentivizing Actions Beyond Carbon Storage to Mitigate Climate Change,” the authors call for expanding the use of forest products in residential and commercial building construction to avoid emissions of carbon and to sequester more of it, as well as managing forests for additional climate benefits beyond storing carbon.

“Sequestering carbon has long been recognized as an important way living forests can contribute to reduced greenhouse gas levels,” explains Giffen. “In addition, we can sequester carbon outside of forests by using wood in long-lasting tall structures, and we can manage forests for greater cooling effects and for reduced uses of fossil fuels in other sectors. These opportunities need to be investigated and deployed.”

Using new engineered wood products to replace steel and concrete in mid- to high-rise construction, say the authors, will help store carbon for the life of the building. Simultaneously, forests will store more carbon with new tree growth.

"It has been known for some time that deforestation is a major contributor to climate change. But forests can also mitigate the problem. This paper demonstrates that constructing large buildings with wood is an immediately viable strategy that stores carbon for a long time," said Woods Hole Research Center President Phil Duffy.

“We can keep much CO2 out of the atmosphere, and avoid a lot of fossil fuel use, by building with wood instead of steel, concrete, and bricks,” says Chadwick Oliver, Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. “And new timber product innovations are long-lasting, more resistant to fires and earthquakes than concrete, steel, and brick buildings, and require relatively little fossil fuel and CO2 emissions in their construction.”

Co-author of the new article Will Price, President of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, explains it this way, “The key is looking long-term and holistically at the flows of carbon in the system, where it stays, where it goes, and what would happen otherwise.”

The article also describes ways forests can be managed for climate mitigation effects beyond storing carbon, for example:

  • Better understanding of how forests cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space. The phenomena known as the “albedo effect” includes the reflection from snow in northern latitudes in winter.

  • Managing forests to optimize the climate effects of organic compounds they release into the atmosphere. These compounds, known as BVOCs (biogenic volatile organic compounds), can affect temperatures by directly reflecting sunlight and by causing more cloud formation.

  • Planting or maintaining trees to increase agricultural productivity, reducing the need for further agricultural clearing of forests.

Additionally, a recent article by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) points to the role trees have on the water cycle, and the resulting climate benefits. Understanding and rewarding these and other effects could in turn create more financial incentives to conserve forests, the authors say.

“If we fail to account for all of the benefits that forests provide, we won’t provide the incentives and support to landowners to encourage management that would reduce climate change,” says Giffen. “Recognizing and rewarding these climate benefits could bolster economic incentives to keep landscapes forested.”

The article recommends global policymakers recognize these effects, find methods for compensating landowners for climate-friendly management practices, develop incentives for accelerating wood use in buildings, and support further research on the specifics of the expanded climate services forests can provide.

“Forests are the most widespread terrestrial ecosystem,” says co-author Frank Lowenstein, Deputy Director at NEFF. “It is vital that we manage them to the planet’s fullest advantage in the face of the climate crisis.”

The New England Forestry Foundation is dedicated to providing for the conservation and ecologically sound management of privately owned forestlands in New England, throughout the Americas and beyond.

See also:
New Thinking To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
How Homeowners Can Help Restore Carbon

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

January 26, 2020

The recently new Moon in Aquarius chugs along void of course until evening. The laid back atmosphere is perfect for a restful, relaxing day. Dreams of the future as well as actual events can appear to play out in languid slow motion. Restive cabin fever…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2020

What is an animal totem/power animal? Does everyone have them? Do animals communicate with us? Join us! Get these questions answered and more. We will explore the world of animals, learn how...

Cost: $65

Where:
Private Office
Andover, MA


Sponsor: Diana Harris
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the Initiating Inspiration Book Club, a partnership with the Waltham Public Library and the Agape Spiritual Community. We are reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond. Copies of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
View map »


Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3429
Contact Name: Louise Goldstein
Website »

More information

Discover Beauty. Discover Goodness. Discover Yourself. Your soul’s gifts are waiting. Breathe. Find stillness. The spark you need to ignite your life is here, within. Max Meditation...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for this special evening with Magdalena of My Metaphysical Maven. The topic is fear and anxiety and how to tell what's anxiety versus what's a message from the universe. We'll...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
View map »


Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3441
Contact Name: Debora Hoffman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Did you know that practicing energetic hygiene plays an important role in maintaining a healthy mind, body, spirit and even your home? Everything is made up of energy including us! Energy can...

Cost: $10

Where:
Center For Inner Wellness
26B Main Street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center For Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-315-1133
Contact Name: Maureen Suriner
Website »

More information

January 29–March 25 With Jody Daniels, MBA and Natalia Cepeda, MA Why take Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)? To better manage your stress and enhance...

Cost: $600–$650

Where:
CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion
1035 Cambridge St
Suite 21A
Cambridge, MA  02141
View map »


Telephone: 617-591-6132
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the Marion Institute for our Winter Film Series, a curated line-up of health documentaries that will change the way you think about food, medicine, and disease. Each film will be followed by...

Cost: Free

Where:
St. Luke’s Hospital McBratney Amphitheater
101 Page Street
New Bedford, MA  02740
View map »


Sponsor: Marion Institute
Telephone: 508-748-0816
Contact Name: Patti Rego
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” —Krishnamacharya Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the...

Cost: $40

Where:
Friends Meeting House
5 Longfellow Park
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Sponsor: Allen Howell, M.Ed. LMHC
Website »

More information

January 31–February 2, 2020 Enjoy heart-opening talks, music, spiritual discussion, connect with like-minded people. Free and open to the public. Attend any or all sessions.  Guest...

Where:
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel
Springfield, MA


Telephone: (508) 754-9042
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Led by Chuck Raffoni ( E-RYT200) named a “person making postiive change in the world for the LGBTQ Community” by Pride Connections and featured on NBC's Today Show for...

Cost: $50

Where:
The Athlete's Yoga
Woburn, MA


Sponsor: www.yogawithchuck.com
Contact Name: Chuck
Website »

More information

Participate in the fourth annual Lincoln Holistic Wellness Fair!  Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 11:00am–5:00pm in Lincoln, Massachusetts The Lincoln Holistic Wellness Fair...

Cost: $50

Where:
The Pierce House
17 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
View map »


Sponsor: Lincoln Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur

More information

This free event showcases an impressive variety of wellness practitioners offering complimentary sample treatments, short classes, demos, presentations, and healthy treats. Mark your calendars...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Pierce House
17 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
View map »


Sponsor: Lincoln Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur

More information

Get a personal teaching for Brother Granite's new Visionary Shamanism Tarot. This class includes the new Visionary Shamanism Tarot deck as well a 90 minute one on one class with Brother Granite...

Cost: $80

Where:
407 Deans Plaza
407 Rte 44
The Enchanted Forest Taunton
Raynham, MA  02767
View map »


Sponsor: Brother Granite
Telephone: 774-208-6195
Contact Name: Granite
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags