Mongolia's boreal forests: a web story
Boreal forests stretch across the northern reaches of the globe, from Europe to Russia to North America. They are the world's largest biome, and make up 29% of the world's total forest area, as well as 32% of global land-based carbon stocks. Compared with tropical forests, they store twice as much carbon per hectare, much of it in the soil. The Northern Hemisphere's frozen soils and peatlands hold an estimated 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon - four times more than humans have emitted since the industrial revolution, and twice as much as is currently in the atmosphere. That means these forests play a key role in mitigating climate change - but at the same time, they are intensely affected by it: boreal forests are warming faster than any other forest biome.