Reforesting 2.2 billion acres in just 6 countries could capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions.
The Crowther Lab of ETH Zurich has published a study in the journal Science that shows this would be the most effective method to combat climate change. The researchers showed for the first time where in the world new trees could grow and how much carbon they would store.
Importantly, the researchers excluded cities and agriculture areas from consideration as "these areas are needed for human life", according to study lead author and postdoc at the Crowther Lab Jean-François Bastin.
This means that there is currently an area of the size of the US available for tree restoration. Once mature, these new forests could store 205 billion tonnes of carbon: about two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution.
We all knew that restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we didn’t really know how big the impact would be. Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today. But we must act quickly, as new forests will take decades to mature and achieve their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage. ~ Prof. Thomas Crowther, Co-author of the study and founder of the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich
According to the study, the greatest potential for reforestation can be found in just six countries: Russia (151 million hectares); the US (103 million hectares); Canada (78.4 million hectares); Australia (58 million hectares); Brazil (49.7 million hectares); and China (40.2 million hectares).
A tool on the Crowther Lab website enables users to look at any point on the globe, and find out how many trees could grow there and how much carbon they would store.
Go humans go!!
Contact Live Truth Productions
For more on who we are & what we're about, click here.