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UW researchers, others warn of expanding biofuels in tropics
Biofuels, by recycling atmospheric carbon, are a potential boon to the
world's ailing climate. But efforts in the tropics to significantly expand
biofuel production by replacing tropical forests with oil palm, sugarcane and
other agricultural biofuels could speed climate change, a new study warns.
In Wednesday's issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters, a team of
researchers from the UW-Madison and other universities cautions that expanding
biofuel crop production in natural tropical ecosystems will lead to a
significant increase in carbon emissions for decades and possibly hundreds of
"Cutting down rainforests to grow biofuel crops will likely never be a winning
proposition for climate change or the environment, even considering projected
improvements in agricultural and energy technology," said Holly Gibbs, a
University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student who is the lead author of the
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