REPORT CLAIMS FORESTS FADING AT FASTER RATE-Washington (AP) 6/6/90 The earths tropical for

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REPORT CLAIMS FORESTS FADING AT FASTER RATE--Washington (AP) 6/6/90 The earths tropical forests are vanishing 50 percent faster than previously estimated, increasing concerns about global warming, a private environmental research group said Thursday. "Every year the world loses an area of tropical forests alost as big as the state of Washington," said James Gustave Speth, president of World Resources Institute. The report by the Washinton based organization said data from satellites and ground sensors, along with reports from individual governments, indicate tat official estimates of tropical forest losses are far too low. The report suggested from an analysys of 1987 data that 40 million to 50 million acres of tropical forests may be stripped each year, compared to the official estimate of about 28 million acres--based on the 1980 data--that still is used by the United Nations and many governments. A study by a British scientist last year came to a conclusion similar to the institutes' finding, said Ken Andrasko, senior foresry analyst for the climate change office of the Environmental Protection Agency. He said the "definitive answer to how much forest we're losing is still not available" although the official finding by U.N. Food and Agricultrure Organization next year are likely to ne close to the institutes estimates. Meanwhile, official esstimates on the extent of the deforestation problem continue to be based on the 1980 data, which show that about 28 million acres of tropical forest are lost annually. The EPA in a draft policy options paper on global warming last year, used the 1980 figures in assessing deforestation. "Were talking about sparse (offical) data that is credible," said Hammond. He said he considers the institutes findings conservative.

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