Global warming: Diseased trees may be major methane source

Diseased trees may be a globally significantly source of heat-trapping methane gas.

Sampling yields highly elevated methane levels in diseases stands

By Summit Voice

Along with the potential risk for increased fire danger, there may be another good reason to remove beetle-infested trees from western forests.

Researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies say some diseased trees release methane at a level that may be a globally significant source of the potent heat-trapping gas, according to the study published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Sixty trees sampled at Yale Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut contained concentrations of methane that were as high as 80,000 times ambient levels. Normal air concentrations are less than 2 parts per million, but the Yale researchers found average levels of 15,000 parts per million inside trees. Continue reading

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