According to a new study, two-thirds of the carbon in the atmosphere can be removed by restoring forests. This makes forest restoration on of the best ways to fight climate change.
Since the dawn of the industrial age, humanity has polluted the atmosphere with greenhouse gases like carbon. In particular, using fossil fuels such as coal to supply power to factories and homes has added up over the years.
In a 2018 report, it was calculated that 300 billion tons of carbon is in our atmosphere. And given the carbon-absorbing nature of trees, restoring forests is our best bet to slow the warming of the planet.
Forests Suffer From Human Activities
It’s no secret that humans cut down trees to make room for cities, roads, farms and other structures. Not only are they cut down for space, but the trees themselves are a valuable resource for building material.
On top of cutting trees down, forest fires are becoming more common. Due to the dryer and warmer climate, forests are more susceptible to fires than ever before.
In 2018, 8.8 million acres of forest were lost to fires. As you can imagine, it is not easy to restore a forest that has been burned to the ground.
Forest Restoration Is the Cheapest Solution
For decades, governments and companies have used the price of going green as an excuse. While this is changing due to the shrinking prices of green technology and public outcry, restoring forests is actually really cheap.
In reality, trees can be planted for as little as 30 cents a tree. To plant the 1 trillion trees needed, it would only cost around 333 billion. While it might sound like a lot, you need to remember this is a global effort.
These trees would be planted in various countries around the world, meaning that one country would not be paying this.
The Longer We Wait The Worse It Gets
Not only will human activity add more carbon to the atmosphere while we wait, but the warmer and dryer conditions will also make land unsuitable for forests. By 2050, the amount of land suitable to sustain trees and various plant life will be reduced by one-fifth.
For example, land that is typically too cold to support forests will become suitable in the future. But on the flip side, warmer climates will be unable to cope with the temperature increase.
What this means is land that was unsuitable for forests before will become suitable and vice versa.
Trees Don’t Grow Over Night
Trees require time to grow and even if we began planting right now, it would take years to see the result. However, there is another fix that can help.
Halting deforestation efforts.
On average, deforestation causes a loss of over 15 billion trees every year. Preventing this from happening is critical.
Regardless of the worlds plan to fight climate change, it has to begin now.