Diseased Trees Add to Global Warming
Release large amounts of methane gas
Diseased trees may be a significant source of methane gas contributing to climate change, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters. The methane-producing trees are outwardly healthy but hollowed out by fungal infections. The new space provides an opening for methane-producing microorganisms called methanogens. “If we extrapolate these findings to forests globally, the methane produced in trees represents 10 percent of global emissions,” said Xuhui Lee, a co-author of the study and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor of Meteorology at Yale. “We didn’t know this pathway existed.”
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