They do this by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), using the carbon (C) to produce sugars for tree growth and releasing the oxygen (O2) back into the air. As trees grow, they store carbon in their leaves, twigs and trunk, and in the soil around them. Globally, we have the capacity to increase the amount of carbon stored by forests by reducing the amount of deforestation in developing countries, and by converting non-forested areas to forest. Deforestation caused by the unsustainable harvesting of timber and the conversion of forests to other land-uses, accounts for almost 20 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
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