Against all odds, trees would store twice as much carbon

A study published in Ecological solutions and evidence reveals that the weight of trees in the UK would have been underestimated, and at the same time their contribution in terms of carbon storage.

The researchers scanned almost 1,000 trees in Wytham Forest (Oxfordshire) to get a three-dimensional image of each one. “This provided a measure of each tree’s volume, allowing researchers to calculate the amount of carbon captured in the trunks and branches,” specify BBC. “Once you know the density of wood, you can convert volume to mass, explains Mathias Disney, professor at University College London. Half of this mass happens to be carbon, the other half water.”

Preserve old trees

“The results show that a piece of British forest weighs twice as much as previous calculations suggested,” we can read on the website for BBC.

According to Mathias Disney, this discovery indicates that for every km2 lost in the woods “we have potentially lost twice as much carbon storage capacity as previously thought”. In addition, the study also examines the case of adult trees: the importance of their role seems difficult to compensate by simply planting new trees. “The value of old trees is almost incalculable, so you should avoid losing them at all costs, regardless of how many trees you want to plant. These big trees are terribly important,” warns Mathias Disney.

Leave a Comment