Bioscience

New study finds prescribed burning can actually reduce the U.S. carbon footprint

April 15, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Inside NAU] – Northern Arizona University researchers have found that prescribed burning reduces the amount of carbon emitted to the atmosphere and increases the forest’s long-term ability to store carbon. 

These burns consume less biomass, releasing less carbon than wildfires of the same size and create healthier forests better able to sequester carbon, the study indicates.

Researchers used satellite images and computer models to analyze 11 Western states from 2001-08. They found prescribed burns can reduce carbon emissions by an average of 18 percent to 25 percent and by as much as 60 percent in certain forest systems.

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