Deforestation May Offer Climate, Economic Benefits in Certain Areas

9 December 2013

Though it may sound counter-intuitive, deforestation may provide better climate benefits for certain areas than if the trees were left standing, researchers from Dartmouth College suggest.

Post-doctoral research associate David Lutz and environmental economist Richard Howarth, both of Dartmouth, contend that deforestation has conomic and climate benefits in high-latitude areas where snowfall is common and timber productivity is low.

One such region is White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, where the pair conducted their study. At high elevation and latitude, the forests there receive substantial amounts of snowfall. The area's cold climate, as well as poor soil conditions on the slopes, impose limits on how fast and how much forests can grow.

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