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CO2 emissions from forest loss

A Correction to this article was published on 01 December 2009

This article has been updated

Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, after fossil fuel combustion. Following a budget reanalysis, the contribution from deforestation is revised downwards, but tropical peatlands emerge as a notable carbon dioxide source.

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Figure 1: Carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (D&FD) and fossil fuel emissions for 1980 onwards.

Change history

  • 15 November 2009

    In the version of this Commentary originally published, in Fig. 1 the top solid brown line should have been a dashed brown line. This error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the text.


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van der Werf, G., Morton, D., DeFries, R. et al. CO2 emissions from forest loss. Nature Geosci 2, 737–738 (2009).

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