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Global Carbon Cycles

We now know that forests play an important role in moderating the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas that increases the amount of radiation absorbed by the atmosphere.

Changes in the amount of greenhouse gases may alter the earth's climate. The way the forests are managed affects how significant they are as a 'carbon sink,' where carbon is captured by a forest's persistent, woody biomass.

Many scientists believe that the world's climate is changing because of human activity. The burning of fossil fuels (coal and petroleum products) has increased the level of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere. This causes the so-called "greenhouse effect" which many scientists believe may be warming the planet's surface and changing the climate.

vigorous Douglas-fir treesForests help slow down the process of climate change, by absorbing carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis. One scientist has estimated that Oregon's forests take more than 15 million metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere each year.

More Information:

The carbon cycle