How Elephants are Doing Their Part to Slow Climate Change


The ocean, soil and forests are the world’s largest carbon sinks, meaning they can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, deforestation to make room for livestock farmlands and development projects is making it more difficult for forests to absorb and regulate temperatures, causing the Earth’s temperatures to rise and amplifying the effects of climate change. Researchers have found that elephants play an essential role in helping the forests store carbon, as they vacuum up plants, trample on smaller trees, and spread seeds in their dung. Without elephants, carbon storage would decline by 6-9 percent. As their numbers decrease due to illegal hunting and trade, scientists and conservationists are putting pressure on global officials to protect these animals and the forests, in order to slow the effects of climate change.

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