Planting Trees Not Enough
There is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that solely planting trees won’t be enough to save humans from global warming, a study has revealed.
It was recently found that young trees can absorb carbon dioxide better than established tropical rainforests, which seemed to be a dose of good news.
But research has found there just isn’t enough space on earth to plant the amount of trees that would be required to make a real dent in our carbon emissions.
It has been calculated that if we planted 1.7 billion acres of trees, we could remove 3 billion tons of atmospheric carbon a year, according to Business Insider.
That’s about 10 percent of what humans emit every year, which can total up to 40 billion tons.
Scientists have looked at trees as a potential solution because they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, using it to form carbohydrates that are used in plant structure and function. Trees also release oxygen back into the atmosphere as a byproduct.
But 1.7 billion acres of trees would be equivalent to the entire contiguous US.
And planting that many trees would cover half the land that is used to farm crops worldwide, plus land we would need to eventually farm as populations continue to grow.
Thus, studies have found that this solution could actually lead to starvation of the human population.