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Canada's accelerating forest carbon crisis
For the last two decades, Canada's managed forest lands have been logged faster than they have grown back. This imbalance has created a huge — and rapidly rising — new source of carbon dioxide (CO2) pouring into our already destabilized climate.
That's according to the data in Canada's National Inventory Report. Canada reports the emissions from its managed forest lands in two parts. One part is the CO2 emitted by harvested wood. The second part is the CO2 absorbed, or emitted, by the managed forest.
Harvested wood CO2 is shown by the orange bars. These emissions have remained business-as-usual high, at around 1,400 million tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) every decade.
For scale, this is one of the largest sources of CO2 in Canada's economy, far exceeding emissions from passenger vehicles, buildings or electricity generation.
The second part of the equation is forest CO2. It's shown by the green bars. This is the net CO2 balance from many processes. New growth pulls CO2 out of the air, while many forms of decay, plus wildfires, emit CO2 back into the air.