SOURCE: The University of Edinburgh

DATE: August 24, 2018

SNIP: Widespread tree felling in African savannas is producing at least three times as many carbon emissions as was previously thought, research suggests.

The findings highlight the extent to which humans are impacting one of the world’s major ecosystems – the Miombo woodlands, which cover 2.5 million square kilometres, across countries including Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Edinburgh researchers used radar satellite data to show that degradation releases around twice as much carbon as deforestation – the clearing of entire areas for commercial activities. These losses are widespread close to major cities and roads.

Combined carbon losses from degradation and deforestation are between three and six times higher than previously thought, depending on the data used, the team says.