Why high latitude afforestation may not reduce climate change
A new study by Vivec Arora and Alvaro Montenegro, published online in Nature Geoscience, weighs the carbon sequestration effects of forest maintenance and expansion against the increased absorption of solar radiation associated with forests. The latter factor is related to the fact that forests are less reflective than, for example, croplands. As a result, particularly at high latitudes, afforestation can actually result in net climate warming. However, the study finds "that warming reductions per unit afforested area are around three times higher in the tropics than in the boreal and northern temperate regions, suggesting that avoided deforestation and continued afforestation in the tropics are effective forest-management strategies from a climate perspective."