When is a forest a sink?

When is a forest a sink?

McMaster scientists explore forests? role in removing CO2

Researchers at McMaster University's Department of Geography and Geology have a unique, new research centre designed to monitor the atmosphere.

Headed by Assistant Professor Altaf Arain, the facility brings together field monitoring and computational facilities in a laboratory dedicated to researching greenhouse gases and forests.

Scientists have long known that forests play an integral role in controlling carbon dioxide levels, by absorbing the gas through the process of photosynthesis. They have also suspected that by planting trees on vacant land, a process called "afforestation," they could create CO2 "sinks" that would work to clean the air of emissions.

By employing advanced technology to monitor changes in the environment, scientists at the new McMaster facility will be able to accurately assess whether planting new forests is actually reducing CO2 levels in the air.