Cutting down trees more carbon-friendly than using steel

A new study identifies many instances where wood could be used in place of products that cause a one-way flow of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions to the atmosphere.

Forests have a limited capacity to absorb carbon as they age and rotting wood or wildfires just release the stored carbon straight back into the atmosphere.

The best approach to reducing carbon emissions is to grow the wood as fast as possible and harvest it before tree growth begins to taper off. This wood could then be used in place of more fossil-intensive products and fuels like steel, coal and oil.

The study found that replacing steel joists with engineered wood I-beams “results in reducing the carbon footprint by almost ten tons CO₂ for every ton of wood used.”

Read more at Future Science