Politicians, business leaders, YouTubers and celebrities have called for millions, billions or trillions of trees to be planted to slow climate change.
There are currently about 8 billion people on Earth. If everyone planted one tree each year for the next 20 years, it would represent about 160 billion new trees.
Will Massive Tree Planting Slowly Change Climate Change?
Trees and carbon:
Carbon dioxide is the main gas that causes global warming. Through photosynthesis, trees and other plants convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into carbohydrates, which they use to form stems, leaves and roots.
The amount of carbon a tree can store varies widely. It depends on the type of trees, the place where they grow and the age.
To illustrate, let us assume that the average tree consumes 50 pounds (22.68 kg) of carbon dioxide per year. And if someone had survived one tree a year for 20 years, if that was not possible, those 20 trees would have consumed about 1,000 pounds (453.59 kg) or half a ton of carbon dioxide a year.
The average person in the United States produces 15.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year, while the average person in India produces 1.9 tons. This means that if everyone in the United States planted one tree a year, after 20 trees had matured, they would only make up about 3% of the carbon dioxide they produce each year. But that would make up 26% for someone in India.
Of course, planting trees is part of the solution to climate change, but there are very important solutions.
There are about 3 trillion trees on earth, only half of which existed 12,000 years before the beginning of human civilization.
Every year 15 billion trees are cut down by the population. Many of these trees are found in tropical forests, but deforestation occurs across the planet.
It makes sense to protect existing forests. They not only absorb carbon dioxide from trees and soil, but also provide a home for animals. Trees can provide firewood and fruit for people. In cities, they can provide shade and entertainment spaces.
But trees should not be planted in native meadows or savannahs, where they have not grown before.
These ecosystems provide an important habitat for their animals and plants, and if not disturbed, they actually store carbon.
To slow climate change, people need to do more than just grow trees. People should quickly reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by moving to renewable energy sources such as the sun and wind.
Because meat has a much larger carbon footprint per calorie than grains and vegetables, people should use fewer cars and air travel and eat less meat.
It is important that everyone, including businesses, politicians, governments, adults and children, do what they can to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
Source: Scientific warning