Wildfires, Cutting, Heating Turn 10 Unesco Forests Into Carbon Sources

"World heritage sites in US, Australia and Russia among those that have emitted more carbon than they absorbed since 2001"

"Forests in at least 10 Unesco world heritage sites have become net sources of carbon since the turn of the millennium due to wildfires, deforestation and global heating, says a new report.

Protected areas such as Yosemite national park in the US, the Greater Blue Mountains area in Australia and the tropical rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia are among the sites that have emitted more carbon than they absorbed since 2001 as a result of human activities, according to research by the World Resources Institute, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Unesco. The analysis found more sites were expected to switch from sinks to sources of carbon in the coming decades.

Unesco sites still represent an enormous carbon bank – comprising a forested area twice the size of Germany, storing the carbon equivalent of Kuwait’s recoverable oil reserves. But researchers said they were surprised and disturbed by the findings in the first scientific assessment of greenhouse gases the sites emitted and absorbed."

Patrick Greenfield reports for the Guardian October 27, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 10/28/2021