Read here. Consensus science claimed that old forests no longer significantly consumed and stored (sequestered) CO2 from the atmosphere. This scientific claim allowed timber/logging companies to convince government officials in numerous countries that by logging old forests, and then replanting with young, fast growing trees, the world would be better off as growth of atmospheric CO2 would be reduced from newer tree consumption. In essence, "consensus" science put mature, forested areas at risk from chain saws in the name of saving the planet from global warming.
A new study out of China overturns the consensus with evidence that old forests still suck prodigious amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere providing a vibrant carbon sink.
"It was once believed that significant carbon sequestration by forests only occurs when they are young and growing vigorously...Tan et al. suggest that it is not really so, reporting the fact that stands of trees with ages in excess of 200 years have been demonstrated by several research groups to act as carbon sinks in both coniferous and mixed forests...buttress this claim by reporting the results of their own study of the subject, in which they employed an eddy covariance technique to examine the carbon balance of a more-than-300-year-old subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest...Clearly, the old notion of old trees contributing next to nothing to global carbon sequestration is manifestly invalid....."Although we observed a “surprisingly” large carbon sink [9 tons of carbon per hectare per year], it is still reasonable and comparable to other findings. The large-and-old trees did not stop sequestering carbon but, rather, sequestered a significant amount of it. Approximately 60% of the biomass increment is contributed by the growth of large trees""...[Zheng-Hong Tan, Yi-Ping Zhang, Douglas Schaefer, Gui-Rui Yu, Naishen Liang, Qing-Hai Song 2011: Atmospheric Environment]