Home News Science&Tech Planting new forest can reverse global warming… or accelerate it

Planting new forest can reverse global warming… or accelerate it

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Global warming is causing the world’s oceans to rise, the destruction of coral reefs and large refugee flows. Swiss scientists have discovered that the best solution against climate change is also the simplest: planting trees. And that enough earth surface is available for that. It is contradicting other findings, however. There is a scientific data that forests actually are harmful in terms of global warming. Swiss findings are proving the opposite.

By studying satellite images of Google Earth, the scientists have calculated how much space there is on Earth. At the moment there is already 2.8 billion hectares of forest. There would be room to plant another 0.9 billion hectares of trees, twice the size of Europe.

This would give the earth a quarter more trees. According to the research leader Tom Crowter, this would reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere to the level of more than 100 years ago.

The reason is that plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. They do this through photosynthesis, the process by which sunlight is converted into food. Trees convert CO2 into wood.

A recent report from the UN climate panel IPCC calculated that a billion hectares of new forest would limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The investigation now shows that there is at least enough room for it.

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