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Future hurricanes could compromise New England forests' ability to store and sequester carbon

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: New research in Global Change Biology highlights the vulnerability of New England's forests to hurricanes
• The study shows that a single hurricane can destroy a significant percentage of the region's above-ground forest carbon, greatly surpassing the amount these forests can sequester annually

🔭 The context: New England is one of the most forested regions in the U.S., playing a crucial role in carbon storage and sequestration
• The research emphasizes how increased hurricane wind speeds could exponentially increase tree mortality and shift the geographical areas of damage further inland and northward

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The findings underscore the need to reassess current carbon market policies which are found lacking in safeguards against natural disturbances like hurricanes
• This vulnerability poses a threat to the effectiveness of forest carbon in combating climate change

⏭️ What's next: The study suggests that policies and carbon markets need to consider and incorporate more robust protections against potential catastrophic events to ensure the reliability and efficacy of using forests as carbon sinks

💬 One quote: "If we are going to rely on forest carbon as a primary tool to mitigate climate change, we have to adequately account for the risks to this forest carbon from disturbances," said Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila, Ph.D.

📈 One stat: A single hurricane can release the equivalent of over 10 years' worth of carbon sequestration by New England forests

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