More Fuel For Debate Over Wood Energy (NHPR)

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NHPR logoAs a guest on NHPR’s The Exchange, Andrew Friedland, the Richard and Jane Pearl Professor in Environmental Studies, discusses a new study that looks at the drawbacks of using wood—as an alternative to fossil fuels—as a power source.

Carbon, Friedland explains, is released not only when wood is burned, but it is also released from the soil when the land is disrupted and trees are cut down. Friedland’s research team focused on the carbon located deep in the soil. “That carbon hadn’t been fully accounted for,” Friedland tells NHPR. “A lot of forest researchers didn’t measure it or didn’t measure it that carefully. We’re beginning to see some suggestions that there is more of that carbon coming up to the atmosphere than had previously been believed.”

Friedland continues, “We’re observing this phenomena in a few of the forests that we work in and a few of the forests that other researchers work in and we’re bringing attention to it . . . not to stop us from using wood as an energy source, but just so we can understand all of the sources of carbon to the atmosphere.”

Listen to the full story, broadcast 8/5/13 on NHPR.