Story: Climate change

‘Forest sinks’

‘Forest sinks’

Growing forests are called sinks because they absorb carbon dioxide. Trees convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into carbon stored in wood and the surrounding soil. Deforestation alters the carbon cycle by releasing this carbon back into the air. Recognising this, the Paris Agreement allows some emissions (sometimes referred to as sink credits) to be generated when new forests are established. The New Zealand government estimates that our forests absorb around 24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

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Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

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How to cite this page:

Brett Mullan, Petra Pearce, Stephen Stuart, Ben Liley and Stacy Mohan, 'Climate change - Global warming', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7549/forest-sinks (accessed 16 June 2021)

Story by Brett Mullan, Petra Pearce, Stephen Stuart, Ben Liley and Stacy Mohan, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 20 Jul 2020