Boreal forests provide major carbon sink

Climate Progress highlights the dramatic role of the Boreal Forests in the long-term sequestration of carbon:

The global boreal forest circles the northern portion of our globe, carefully edging along the southern arctic through Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, and Alaska. A report out today by the Canadian Boreal Initiative and Boreal Songbird Initiative states that the boreal forest stores as much as 703 billion tons of carbon in its trees, peatlands, and soils – this amounts to nearly twice the storage capacity per unit area as tropical forests.

This is something we need to be aware of here in Canada:

Around 30% of Canada’s Boreal Forest has been designated for logging, and this number becomes much higher when including mining and oil and gas leases. A recent report by Global Forest Watch Canada (link 3) found that the oil extraction technique of strip-mining large underground deposits of bitumen (often called ‘tar sands’ due to its thick texture prior to being separated from clays and soils) has devastated a landscape in Alberta of 686 km2, holding up to 21 million tons of carbon.