Forests Could Curb Global Warming

Forest can sequester carbon dioxide, but preventing fires is critical to keep down release of the climate altering gas.

Published: 04-Mar-2005

OSLO  - Effective control of forest fires may prove crucial in the fight against global warming since blazes from Alaska to Indonesia spew out vast amounts of heat-trapping gases, Canadian foresters say.

"Forests are a wild card in the debate" about rising world temperatures, said Brian Stocks, a forest fire expert with the government-run Canadian Forest Service.

Annual fire damage in countries from Russia to Canada varies hugely, and many of the most destructive blazes are lit by lightning in remote regions. But campers tipping over stoves or arsonists cause a rising number of preventable fires.

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