stuff I wrote elsewhere
The questions this leads me to:
If trees are carbon sinks, but dead trees give off carbon, how much carbon to trees store away, and how much carbon do they just keep stored until they die? Are smaller trees more efficient processors of carbon, as they process as much but store less? Are we going to see a trend away from big beautiful trees to leaner models?
In the long run, the carbon in a forest is stable, stored in the bodies of trees. Every time a tree gets cut down, the carbon starts getting released into the atmosphere as the tree decomposes. Or if you burn it, it goes into the atmosphere really fast. The problem comes here when one type of tree gets replaced by another as the dominant tree type.
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