The Boreal Forest – The World’s Carbon Storehouse
Canada’s Boreal forest (depicted in green in the map below) is part of the larger Biome called the “Taiga”. The Taiga covers the northern areas of the Arctic tree line. Canada’s Boreal forest in particular is considered the largest carbon storehouse in the world. It houses 22 percent of the the carbon stored in the world’s land surface. The Boreal stores twice as much carbon per unit area compared to tropical forests. This is due to the cold temperatures which preserve the soils resulting in deep organic soils that are thousands of years old.
The Threat to the Boreal Forest
Global warming and deforestation have threatened to release large amounts of carbon from the Boreal forest. 90 percent of all of Canada’s carbon is stored in the Boreal region. It is estimated that 186 billion tons of carbon is stored in the soil therefore destruction of the forest would greatly accelerate global warming. In response to this threat the Canadian Government implemented a plan to protect 25 million acres of Boreal land in November 2007.