Building structures out of wood doesn’t seem like a particularly innovative idea—people have been building wood houses for centuries. But when it comes to new efforts to be sustainable, all-timber construction is the latest advancement. How exactly is a process that requires us to cut down trees more environmentally friendly, though? Sustainable forest management would be crucial, experts say, but if that is part of a global boom in using timber in new constructions, new wood buildings could store up to 700 million tons of carbon a year. In a paper published in the journal Nature Sustainability on January 27, experts at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany dig into the potential for timber buildings to act as carbon sinks. Natural carbon sinks, like forests, absorb and capture carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Timber buildings, the researchers say, could be crucial carbon sinks as the world’s population, and thus urban construction, increases in the coming years. Experts have predicted that by 2050, there could be more than 9.5 billion people on Earth, and that 70% of that population will live in urban environments. That means demand for new housing and commercial buildings will grow as well, […]

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