HVAC Breaking News

Earth’s Ability to Absorb Carbon Is Diminishing

PRINCETON, NJ — Forest growth absorbs a major portion of the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions — an effect called carbon sink — but that effect is going to gradually disappear this century as forest lands mature, according to a Princeton University-led research group. In a study published in the June 22 issue of Science, the Princeton group found that the U.S. is currently absorbing one-third to two-thirds of a billion metric tons of carbon per year. The main reason is that growing trees and shrubs are drawing considerable volumes of carbon dioxide from the air and using the carbon to build their trunks, branches, and foliage.

Despite the large U.S. carbon sink, the country still releases much more carbon into the atmosphere than can be absorbed. Burning of fossil fuels produces about 1.4 billion tons of carbon each year. Taking into account the sink, 800 million to 1.1 billion tons accumulate in the atmosphere each year. The new study is said to eliminate the possibility that the carbon sink is big enough to equal the nation’s fossil fuel release, as some had thought.

Stephen Pacala, lead author of the study and a Princeton professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, said that the carbon sink will disappear over the next 50 to 100 years. “The carbon sinks are going to decrease at the same time as our fossil fuel emissions increase,” Pacala said. “Thus, the greenhouse problem is going to get worse faster than we expected.”

Publication date: 07/02/2001

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Greg Mazurkiewicz

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 HARDI Fly-In

Highlights from HARDI's Congressional Fly-In in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Clint Schreck

Clint Schreck, general manager, Columbus Worthington Air, Columbus, Ohio, discusses winning Angie’s List Super Service Award, how to handle online reviews, and much more.

More Podcasts


NEWS 05-25-15 cover

2015 May 25

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


The EPA has approved several hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants for HVACR applications. Do you support the use of HCs?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con