Located in typically colder climates, permafrost helps trap carbon in the soil and helps decomposing trees die slower, trapping carbon for longer. Combined with peat bogs, and the 3-million—square kilometres of boreal forest in Canada represent a major piece of nature’s effort to combat climate change.
“The larger point is that the boreal forest traditionally soaks up more carbon than it emits. Its growth outstrips its rot, making it a better carbon sink than rainforests”
Unfortunately, the boreal forest may be fighting a losing battle against climate change. Whilst warmer weather does help inspire more growth of the boreal forest, it also releases carbon that is trapped due to the colder weather as mentioned above.
By 2100, annual average temperatures across the whole boreal forest region will have increased by four to 11 degrees Celsius, transforming some of the area into savannah.