The much hullabaloo created by the ratification of Clean Development Mechanism under Kyoto Protocol seems to die down under the burden of scientific documents that claim, plantations cannot be the sole contributor towards reversing the impacts of global warming.
Sequestration of carbon as well as setting limits for ensuring emission reductions by the means of planting regular or exotic varieties definitely serves as an effective controlling factor. But, to tame the unrestrained use of fossil fuel for reducing the effects of global warming, any day seems to be a more rational choice. Considering the fact that the huge expanses of area required for productive plants like poplar or switchgrass might prove to be harmful for the natural ecosystem.
The vast quantities of water required to moisten unproductive land and nitrogen based fertilizers invested to enhance fertility for a plantation that reserves the potential to harness increasing temperature by 2 degree Celsius, can prove to be devastating.
Some claim storing carbon in the form of woodlands by creating man made carbon sinks resorting to myriad processes can help in reasonable sequestration.
• Planting hectares and relentlessly using nitrogen fertilizers
• Covering up a certain portion of world’s unproductive agricultural land with unproductive biomass or burying tree trunks
• Doing away with natural ecosystems that encompasses a quarter of forested land
• Venturing out to conduct plantation in the arid zones
Counter arguments speak about the vitality of forest conservation over deliberate plantation which is considered to exploit natural resources significantly thus proving to be counterproductive in controlling the effects of global warming. In fact, doing away with meat and dairy products and planting pastures too does not bear benefits as they are less productive in comparison of fertile croplands.
As long as trees stand tall, firmly rooted to the ground, they store considerable amount of carbon. When they are felled during logging, the biomass decomposes to release carbon back to the atmosphere. So, it keeps us on our toes, compelling us to replant ones the plantation cover has been removed for human use. Repeating the process over the years makes the landscape store carbon and simultaneously provides timber.
Thus, we can confer that plantations act as just the supporting factor and involves numerous dicey rationales behind becoming substantially useful. Carbon sequestration techniques definitely contribute towards a healthy planet but no intervention can ever reserve the absolute potential to control global warming. Therefore, to avert climate risks the call of the hour is to resort to judicious renewable energy use and give up on fossil fuels.