Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees

Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees”

According to a new study in the journal Science, planting billions of trees around the world would be the cheapest and most effective way to tackle the climate crisis. The study's lead author, Jean-Francois Bastin, estimated there's space for at least 1 trillion more trees, and potentially 1.5 trillion, AP reports, on top of the estimated 3 trillion trees now on the planet.

"This is lovely thing, just to think that to fight climate change what you have to do is to plant trees and you can do that everywhere", Bastin said.

Once these trees matured they could pull down around 200 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, some two-thirds of extra carbon from human activities put into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

The team said their study evaluated the United Nations claim for the first time, showing where the trees could be restored and how much carbon they could capture.

Scientists say massive reforestation could capture two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions and reduce overall levels in the atmosphere to their lowest in nearly a century.

There's just one slight wrinkle: Climate change could make life in certain parts of the globe inhospitable for some of those new trees, particularly in the tropics.

The study is the first to attempt to quantify how many trees the Earth can support, where to plant them and how much carbon they could store.

The Crowther Lab is a group of multi-disciplinary scientists studying the ecological processes that influence climate change, based at ETH Zürich, the world's leading University in Earth and Environmental Sciences. It confirms that this scenario projection is "undoubtedly achievable under the current climate". Now researchers say the best solution is also the simplest: plant more forests.

The Crowther Lab finds that forests could be regrown on 1.7-1.8 billion hectares of land in areas with low human activity that are not now used as urban or agricultural land, adding 0.9 billion hectares of tree canopy. In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated a 1 billion hectare (about 2.4 billion acre) increase in forests could limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) by 2050.

If cropland and urban areas were included the study finds that forests could be regrown on a further 1.4 billion hectares of land, adding 0.7 billion hectares of tree canopy.

The researchers identify six countries where the bulk of the forest restoration could occur: Russian Federation (151m hectares), United States (103m), Canada (78m), Australia (58m), Brazil (50m) and China (40m).

There are also many opportunities that present themselves in a reforested and afforested world, including the transformation of the construction industry to wood (continuing to store the Carbon dioxide in buildings as well as trees) and forest farming, which promises "abundance, as well as the kind of resilience a changing climate demands".

At the start of 2019, 48 countries had signed up to the Bonn Challenge, which aims to restore 350 million hectares of forest by 2030.

The study also warns that some existing climate models are wrong in expecting climate change to increase global tree cover. There's as much carbon captured and stored in all the trees of the Amazon as the amount the entire planet has emitted over the past 10 years.

In sum, the researchers assessed the tree cover of more than 78,000 square hectares of land.

They also took into consideration the human-related factors that could skew the estimates, such as farmland or other non-forest green spaces.

And the best way to really see just how much tree cover's out there is using satellite data, which is exactly what the study turned to.

But if there's a silver lining, it's that we know the solutions.

Researchers analyzed tree cover in protected forest areas largely unaffected by human activity across the Earth's ecosystems, from arctic tundra to equatorial rainforest, studying almost 80,000 high resolution satellite photographs.

Like this



05 July 2019
Ethiopian Jews Protest Racism in Israel
On 18 January, Yehuda Biadga was walking around his neighbourhood in Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv, holding a knife. Media captionIsraeli police used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse protests by Ethiopian Jews in several cities.

05 July 2019
Search giant backs down after New Zealand murder case gaffe
A British news story featuring the accused man's name and his photo was run by Google in a "what's trending in New Zealand" email. Millane, 22, was killed in December shortly after arriving in Auckland on holiday.

05 July 2019
Kevin Spacey Nantucket Accuser Drops Civil Lawsuit; Criminal Charges Remain
At the time of the alleged incident on Nantucket in 2016, Unruh's son worked as a bus boy at the Club Car restaurant and bar. In January the judge overseeing his criminal case ordered Spacey's accuser to provide his mobile phone to the defence.

05 July 2019
Red Dead Redemption 2: 10 Unsolved Mysteries That Will Freak You Out
As we said in our review, Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably "the best game of the past five years". A conspicuous video leak also showed the Red Dead Redemption 2 PC graphics menu up and running.

05 July 2019
Kamala Harris Labels Trump a 'Predator Living in the White House'
Kamala Harris to go after him on his past stance on busing during the first round of 2020 Democratic primary debates . She said there's been a pattern of predatory behavior from the Trump administration.

05 July 2019
Buhari speaks on Benue tanker explosion
Residents and individuals alike who were present at the scene were burned by the fire from the explosion. The Fire Service, which later intervened to put out the inferno, had one of its men seriously burnt.

05 July 2019
Nine sentenced to death for attacking Sheikh Hasina 25 years ago
The prime minister said many ask her in the global forum how Bangladesh keeps friendship with both India and China. Hasina began her visit on July 3 by taking part in the Summer Davos meeting held at the Chinese city of Dalian.

05 July 2019
Stranger Things Season Three: Netflix Australia release date and time
For more on that post-credit scene and the major twists of Stranger Things 3 , stay tuned to all this weekend. If that sentence went completely over your head, you should absolutely get around to watching the show.

05 July 2019
Malaika Arora, Arjun Kapoor meet Rishi Kapoor in NY
The duo, who initially denied dating each other, has been making public appearances together at several events lately. In a recent Instagram post, Rishi Kapoor's wife Neetu Kapoor uploaded a picture of them posing with Arjun and Malaika.

05 July 2019
Rafael Nadal would have liked to skip Nick Kyrgios clash, says Henman
Nick Kyrgios admitted he meant to spear a forehand directly at Rafael Nadal in their bad-tempered Wimbledon clash on Thursday. Nadal was evidently fuming at being targetted but it only seemed to make him up his game.