Timber, The Climate & The Greenhouse Effect


The use of wood and the greenhouse effect
We all know and have heard about The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming…… but did you know using timber can counter this?
The burning of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.  But research has shown that the growing timber forest absorbs carbon that is released into the atmosphere.
As the tree grows it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in perpetuity.
One cubic metre of growing forest contains 200 kilos of carbon.
It is estimated that trees absorb 25% of fossil fuels emissions of Co². Using one cubic metre of wood results in 0.8 tonnes of Co² sequestration.
So the extraordinary product we are associated with has a two-fold benefit:  The forests where it originates function as carbon sinks, then once absorbed the products produced from the raw material by the wood processing industry act as carbon stores after conversion.
What other building material product – Plastic – Steel – Concrete can emulate this?
On average, wood used as a substitute for concrete or steel will save a further 1.1 tonnes of CO2 creating a total saving of 2 tonnes a cubic metre.
In 1990 the forests were calculated to be absorbing nearly half the total carbon emissions produced by burning fossil fuels.  Since then the area of forest has increased.
This is the only building material whose subsequent use in products and buildings stores and absorbs the carbon and is conducive to the concepts of The Kyoto protocol.
Source:  The Finnish Timber Council 2008.