Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests

February 18, 2019 | Josh Gabbatiss Washington DC |


New findings suggest trees are ‘our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change’, says scientist

Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study.

Scientists have established there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods and abandoned land across the planet.

If such a goal were accomplished, ecologist Dr Thomas Crowther said it would outstrip every other method for tackling climate change – from building wind turbines to vegetarian diets.

Lack of accurate information meant for years experts severely underestimated the number of trees on Earth.

Dr Crowther said undervaluing trees means scientists have also been massively underestimating the potential for forests to combat climate change.

Project Drawdown, a group that compares the merits of different emission-cutting techniques, currently places onshore wind power and improved recycling of fridges and air conditioners at the top of its list.

“We are not targeting urban or agricultural area, just degraded or abandoned lands, and it has the potential to tackle the two greatest challenges of our time – climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Dr Crowther.

“It’s a beautiful thing because everyone can get involved. Trees literally just make people happier in urban environments, they improve air quality, water quality, food quality, ecosystem service, it’s such an easy, tangible thing.”

via Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests
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