ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

Team 3 (University of California, Davis), Topic 2: What is the best individual solution to solving the threat of global climate change?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012: 3:05 PM
Lecture Hall, Floor Two (Knoxville Convention Center)
Jenny S. Carlson , Entomology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Matan Shelomi , Dept. of Entomology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Mohammad-Amir Aghaee , Dept. of Entomology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Irina Shapiro , Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Finding a solution to global climate change is no easy endeavor, but the key to a successful solution will include a multifaceted approach that will be both economically feasible and socially acceptable.  We propose that the storage of carbon is the best solution through the natural activity of trees, taking in CO2 and storing it as plant material.  This carbon sequestration will be achieved through conservation and better management practices of already existing forests, reforestation of depleted primary forests, and forestation in open areas.

Storage of carbon with forests is economically feasible and immediately implementable; no new technology is needed beyond that developed over centuries of silvicultural practices.  A well-managed forest can reliably provide economic output and long-term carbon storage as wood products.  Subsequent regrowth of trees, which sequester more carbon as saplings, continues the cycle of carbon sequestration using the same land.  Reforestation is socially acceptable, and such programs can easily be deployed through extant systems such as the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organizations’ Forestry networks as well as non-governmental and private organizations.

Forests reduce local carbon emissions that would otherwise be produced by unforested land, preserve soil quality, minimize erosion, and serve as habitat and corridors for local wildlife.  Furthermore, unlike climate change management strategies that seek to solely minimize carbon output, forests actively assist in removing extant excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas.  Forestation is a sustainable and proactive strategy for climate change management with long-lasting benefits.

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