Global climate change is one of the most important environmental challenges facing society today. The burning of fossil fuels and to a lesser extent, changes in land use patterns have led to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are affecting the earth's climate. Not all of the greenhouse gases that we produce stay in the atmosphere - almost half are taken up by the ocean and land ecosystems. Carbon uptake in forests is an ecological service that is becoming one of the values managed by the British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range. This extension note provides an overview of why carbon uptake and storage in forests are important, some management considerations, and a discussion on how climate change may affect the forest carbon balance.
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Updated November 27, 2009