August 19, 2013 | Jasmine

Large, ancient trees make me feel at peace with the world, but it turns out they have a major ‘flaw'… the amount of carbon they capture falls dramatically with age. We rely on forests to absorb a sizable chunk of our carbon dioxide emissions. Despite their ecological importance, old woodlands may have to be chopped down to make space for younger trees. Policy-makers must decide what has more value: biodiversity, or the ability to capture our greenhouse gas emissions.


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Should we lose biodiversity to capture carbon?

Trees in a forest

Older trees absorb less carbon but are valuable to ecosystems.


Image: Wikipedia Commons/Snežana Trifunović

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