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 Kyoto Protocol allows some emissions (sometimes referred to as sink credits) to be generated when new (post-1990) forests are established. The New Zealand government expects that forests planted after 1990 will absorb around 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2008 and 2012.

Using this item

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Brett Mullan and Kynan Gentry, 'Climate change - Global warming', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7549/forest-sinks (accessed 13 December 2019)

Story by Brett Mullan and Kynan Gentry, published 12 Jun 2006