The unknown costs with afforestation

The March episode of the Bjerknes centre podcast is about afforestation. There are several benefits related both to climate and to wildlife by planting forest and especially letting forest reclaim the landscape, but there are hidden costs. One example is the afforestation project i China were they have over 30 years planted an area on the size of Belgium. In this project they have discovered that the trees are using much more water than the landscape it replaced, so there are problems with the water level downstream. Another example is how the forest alters the albedo of the high latitudes in the northern hemisphere.

Priscilla Mooney, a NORCE researcher and a member of the Bjerknes centre got interviewed by Stephen Outten and me. As normal it is Stephen that bears the brunt of our side.

The conclusion is that the best we can do is to leave the current forests as they are and be very careful in helping the forests reclaim the area that we have stolen from them the last 100 or more years.

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