Can saving tropical forests help slow down climate change?

"Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major driver of climate change, and tropical deforestation and forest degradation are currently big contributors to CO2 build-up in our atmosphere. Reducing forest losses from clear-cutting, logging and fire will help to slow climate change while also protecting the unique biodiversity of tropical regions. One way to do this is to provide incentives to landowners to limit forest losses, but doing so requires comprehensive geographic monitoring of forest carbon stocks, growth and losses over time. By combining satellite and aircraft remote sensing technology, along with a tactical use of field calibration plots, it is now possible to monitor forest carbon stocks and changes throughout the tropics. These approaches will provide the scientific basis for conservation and policy decisions to protect tropical forests and slow climate change."

- Greg Asner, Carnegie Institution for Science

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Asner Wright Hall Muller Winter Potvin
Turner Detto Hubell Rubinoff Davies