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WHRC: Challenges to estimating carbon emissions from tropical deforestation

Author: Navin Ramakutty
May 26, 2006

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Deforestation and other land-cover changes typically release carbon from the terrestrial biosphere to the atmosphere as CO2 (carbon dioxide), while recovering vegetation in abandoned agricultural or logged land removes CO2 from the atmosphere and sequesters it in vegetation biomass and soil carbon. Emissions from land-use and land-cover change are perhaps the most uncertain component of the global carbon cycle, with enormous implications for balancing the present-day carbon budget and predicting the future evolution of climate change.

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