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European forests and climate warming


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“Policy choices on the use of forest management in climate change mitigation should look at current decision alternatives and not compare sustainable forest management with past unsustainable practices”, says EFI’s Marcus Lindner, referring to the recent Science published article by Naudts et al. The article states that for most of the past 250 years, Europe's managed forests have been a net source of carbon, contributing to climate warming rather than mitigating it.

“Today, the discussion is on the current forest management alternatives, while Naudts et al. analyse an unclear long-term trend including deforestation and degradation and a shorter period of sustainable forest management. If their methods had been applied to years 1950–2010, very different results would have come out”, Lindner says.

Science has received a wealth of responses, including one led by Lindner, who was also one of the first researchers to comment on the topic for the Washington Post .