In this Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 photo, Amazigh houses sit in the foothills of Cedar trees forests, in Azrou, a town south of Fez.
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Earth's plants and soil microbes absorb and exude huge quantities of heat-trapping CO2, the main driver of global warming.Over the course of a year, land-based flora emit – in a process called respiration – 117 to 118 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, six times as much as humans release by burning fossil fuels. Earlier experiments had shown that leafy trees exposed to a temperature increase of three-to-four degrees Celsius (5.4 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) would quickly begin to pump out an additional 20 percent of carbon dioxide or more.While Earth's living forests take up more CO2 than they give off, deforestation poses a double threat: Trees release stored-up CO2 when cut down and burned, and reducing the surface area covered by forests means fewer plants remain to absorb CO2.
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