Study: Forests of Pacific Northwest and Alaska tops for storing carbon

The top 10 national forests for storing carbon dioxide in the United States are in the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Wilderness Society.

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The storage of carbon helps combat the threat of climate change. Carbon stored in the trees and soils of the moist national forests in Washington, Oregon and southeast Alaska totals some 9.8 billion metric tons. By comparison, one year of fossil fuel burned in the United States contains 5.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, the study said.

"The mature and old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska are among the Earth’s greatest carbon-storing ecosystems,” said Jerry Franklin, professor of ecosystem analysis at the University of Washington’s College of Forest Resources.

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