Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research can save tropical forests

26.03.2012
Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have investigated how much carbon the natural forests of Sri Lanka contain. The results are important for work to reduce deforestation of tropical countries, and for international negotiations in climate policy relating to a new climate agreement.

Global deforestation can be reduced by measuring the amount of carbon contained in natural forests. The measurements may make it possible for tropical countries to receive compensation from developed countries for the retention of forests.

Deforestation is responsible for approximately 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Most deforestation takes place in tropical forests, and it is important, therefore, to reduce the felling of such forests, in order to reduce total emissions of greenhouse gases.

Short-term profitability

One problem is that felling trees often gives a greater profit in the short term than allowing the forest to remain. However, it is possible to change the economic conditions such that countries can profit by allowing forests to stand.

Climate negotiations led by the UN in recent years have discussed a way of reducing global deforestation known as REDD+. This involves tropical countries being paid by developed countries if they retain or increase their tropical forests.

“But in order for REDD+ to work in practice, it’s important to develop efficient systems for measuring the carbon in the forests, and such systems are deficient in Sri Lanka”, says Eskil Mattsson, research student in physical geography at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

The carbon content of trees

One aspect of the work he has carried out in collaboration with Swedish and Sri Lankan colleagues involves measuring the carbon content of various types of natural forest in Sri Lanka. This meant carrying out measurements on approximately 20,000 trees. The results show that deforestation is responsible for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions that originate from human activity in Sri Lanka. There are, however, large differences between the amounts of carbon that different types of forest contain.

“The calculations are important in order to estimate the costs and benefits of reducing deforestation, since the levels of compensation will be based on the amount of carbon in the forest”, says Eskil Mattsson.

Alternatives to felling

Eskil Mattson’s studies have also shown that it is possible to use other ecosystems than natural forests to bind carbon and to provide food, timber and protection against climate change for the local population.

His work can be used, among other things, to reach a clearer understanding of how Sri Lanka and other tropical countries can retain natural forests in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases without a detrimental effect on the opportunities for the local population to support itself.

The results are also significant for international negotiations in climate policy, and for a new climate agreement in which issues relating to the measurement of carbon in forests and soil are high on the agenda.

The thesis “Forest and Land Use Mitigation and Adaptation in Sri Lanka – Aspects in the Light of International Climate Change Policies” will be defended at a disputation on 30 March 2012.

Supervisor for the PhD studies has been Associate Professor Madelene Ostwald, while faculty opponent at the disputation is Dr. Sandra Brown, head of the research institute Winrock International in the US. Dr. Brown has co-authored several reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was awarded a Nobel Diploma in 2007 when the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work with climate change.

Bibliographic data
Journal: Journal of Environmental Management 100:29-40, 2012.
Title: REDD+ readiness implications for Sri Lanka in terms of reducing deforestation.

Authors: Mattsson, E., Persson, U.M., Ostwald, M., Nissanka, S.P. 2012.

For more information, please contact: Eskil Mattsson
Tel: +46 31 786 2828
Mobile: +46 70 221 3954
e-mail: eskil@gvc.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/28343

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>