Planting More Trees Key to Combating Climate Change

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A tool on the Crowther Lab website enables users to look at any point on Earth to find out how many trees could grow there and how much carbon they would store.

Six countries with the most space for new trees are Russian Federation, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and China.

"Restoration of trees may be "among the most effective strategies", but it is very far indeed from "the best climate change solution available", and a long way behind reducing fossil fuel emissions to net zero", said Myles Allen, a geosystem science professor at Oxford.

"It will take decades for new forests to mature and achieve this potential", Crowther said. "I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed". Even with existing cities and farmland, there's enough space for new trees to cover nine million square kilometres, they reported in Thursday's journal Science.

The even more dire piece of news is that Amazon deforestation rates are climbing under the rule of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, tropical deforestation is continuing elsewhere, and massive fires are engulfing the world's northern forests thanks to already rising temperatures. Globally, humans have put about 300 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere to date. It confirms that this scenario projection is "undoubtedly achievable under the current climate".

The earth is covered according to the researchers now, 2.8 billion hectares of forest. Importantly, these are not areas that would naturally be grasslands or wetlands, but degraded ecosystems that would naturally support some level of tree cover.

"The question of whether it is actually feasible to restore this much forest is much more hard", Field said in an email. The afforestation of suitable areas due to climate change every year, small.

Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and China show the best potential for new forests, with the ability to hold 151 million hectares, 103 million hectares, 78.4 million hectares, 58 million hectares, 49.7 million hectares, and 40.2 million hectares, respectively.

That effort calls for 350 million hectares of degraded land worldwide to be restored by 2030. Planting extra trees could furthermore withhold biodiversity, scientists recount.

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The enormous benefit of trees in the process of climate change mitigation is backed by an overwhelming amount of evidence.

René Castro, Assistant Director-General, FAO, commented on the paper: "Forests are one of our biggest allies in combatting climate change with measurable results".

It's an all-natural TreeHugger-approved carbon capture and storage plan. "A hugely important blueprint for governments and private sector". "Restoring trees at [low] density is not mutually exclusive with grazing. We have the solutions at our fingertips; we just need the global political will to fight for our world".

'One aspect was of particular importance to us as we did the calculations: we excluded cities or agricultural areas from the total restoration potential as these areas are needed for human life, ' lead author Jean-François Bastin said in a statement. Brazil and China are also on the list, and together those six countries contain 50 per cent of the area where forests could grow again.

See more at Crowther Lab.

This is the first study to link direct tree measurements to environmental characteristics to provide quantitative, spatially explicit global estimates of potential tree cover.

The researchers mature Google Earth to examine what areas could toughen extra trees, while leaving room for other folks and crops. They used this to produce a predictive model to map prospective tree cover across the world under present conditions.

This story has been published on: 2019-07-04.

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