What effect does burning trees have on the atmosphere?



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    Burning trees, although at quick glance a seemingly environmentally preferable alternative to coal, actually dumps a lot of carbon dioxide BACK into the atmosphere. At the same time the trees, excellent sinks for the excess carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, are removed from the equation, resulting in a net gain of greenhouse gasses in the air. Your question may stem from the erroneously heralded concept of biomass, which purports to substitute trees for coal. The problem is, again, that if the trees are not being replaced, then there is still a net gain of carbon dioxide. Additionally, many biomass facilities also burn coal as well as trash along with the trees.

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