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James Randerson

#104 most read in

 Sustainable Finance

James Randerson is Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. He studies the global carbon cycle using remote sensing and in-situ measurements and different types of models.

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Shane Coffield

Satellites detect no real climate benefit from 10 years of forest carbon offsets in California

Many of the companies promising “net-zero” emissions to protect the climate are relying on vast swaths of forests and what are known as carbon offsets to meet that goal. On paper, carbon offsets appear to balance out a company’s carbon emissions: The company pays to protect trees, which absorb carbon dioxide from the air. The company can then claim the absorbed carbon dioxide as an offset that reduces its net impact on the climate. However, our new satellite analysis reveals what researchers have suspected for years: Forest offsets might not actually be doing much for the climate.

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