You see that chart above? It was taken from an article on the missing carbon sink. The graphs in the chart show results for net CO2 emission or absorption from before and after the missing sink was found.
Note the down arrows for North America? That means North America is absorbing more CO2 than it is emitting (at least if I understand the chart correctly). The rest of the world should be paying us for the service we are providing. Or at the very least they should stop hectoring us about our energy generation methods.
But the scientists are still not happy.
Other scientists have also recently come to the conclusion that northern forests, although critically important in maintaining biodiversity, might be less important in slowing climate change than tropical forests. Govindasamy Bala and Ken Caldeira found that tropical forests help cool the Earth in two ways: by storing carbon and also by reflecting the suns warming rays back to space. "Unlike tropical forests, high latitude forests darken the Earth's surface, causing the earth to absorb more sunlight, an effect that is most pronounced in snowy regions. This darkening of the surface has a warming influence that can be stronger than the cooling influence of carbon storage in these forests," says Caldeira. This suggests that removing high-latitude forests would have a net cooling effect on the planet, whereas removal of tropical forests would result in warming.So if we cut down all the trees in North America it would be better for the planet? Right!
Get the chain saws out boys we have some work to do.
Cross Posted at Classical Values