African savannas are emitting three times the CO2 than thought

The Miombo woodlands extend over 2.5 million square kilometers across Africa, passing through Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. This ecosystem provides valuable habitat for wildlife and acts as a carbon sink, keeping precious CO2 out of the atmosphere. But that’s changing now, new research reports, as recent widespread tree felling throughout savannas has increased carbon emissions threefold.

The research comes from a team at the University of Edinburgh that used radar satellite data to analyze the impact of carbon emissions from degradation and deforestation versus the offset that is provided via the growth of remote trees. Degradation here refers to the removal of trees due to logging, fire, and other reasons, and has been historically hard to monitor because satellite images…

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