Planting more than 500 billion trees could remove around 25 percent of existing carbon from the atmosphere, a new study has found. What's more: there's enough space to do it. The study, published in Science, set out to assess how much new forest the earth could support without encroaching on farmland or urban areas and came up with a figure of 0.9 billion hectares, an area roughly the size of the U.S. If we act now, this could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 25 percent, to levels last seen almost a century ago. The new trees would remove around 200 gigatonnes of carbon, or two thirds of what humans have pumped into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.
However, the researchers emphasized that tree planting was not a replacement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Even if tree planting began today, it would take 50 to 100 years for the new trees to soak up those 200 gigatonnes of carbon. Even so, it's a climate change solution that is available now, it is the cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved.
We all can do our part: donate to tree planting organisations, use renewable energy, use natural reusable products instead of plastics.
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