In the global carbon economy, forests act like leafy savings accounts. They take carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis, convert it into biomass, and deposit it for years or even centuries in wood and soil.
Some environmental and public-health groups are applauding President Obama’s Clean Power Plan designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from U-S power plants. But some Arizona politicians say it’ll have a negative economic impact on the state. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
Much of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from human activities — like burning fossil fuel — is taken up as plant food. Northern Arizona University’s Debbie Huntzinger, a researcher of climate change models, says the land’s surface is currently storing more of the greenhouse gas than it’s giving off.