Planting Trees by the Billion can Aid in CO2 Reduction

A study has found that planting trees on an extreme scale may prove effective in reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The study used satellite images, tree cover assessments, and computer modelling to identify available areas which could be potential sites for cultivating new forests. Accounting for locations with suitable conditions, a total area of 0.9 billion hectares, roughly the size of the USA, was identified as viable for forestation which is primarily spread across 6 countries (Australia, Canada, Brazil, USA, China, Russia).

The planting of trees on a mass scale could help reduce carbon if this is done in addition to human based mitigation measures. The suggested strategy does not detract from our need to curb current emissions and make use of renewable energy sources, particularly since the plan would require time to reach its full potential as forests would need approximately 50-100 years to absorb the desired CO2 levels from the atmosphere. However, despite the time restraint the concept of planting billions of trees can still prove effective since it’s a cost effective and simple option given that the areas identified are currently unoccupied by either urban or agricultural land use, and it doesn’t require investment in new technology.

While scientists from the study speculate that establishing new forests could remove a quarter of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere (two thirds of anthropogenic carbon dioxide released post-industrial revolution), other scientists have suggested this estimate may be too high as it doesn’t account for stored CO2 present in ecosystems or the time-frame necessary to become fully effective. Raising the potential benefits of planting forests is particularly relevant in order to emphasise the need to preserve current forests such as the rapidly disappearing Amazon rainforest. While some scientists may debate the precise volume of CO2 which can be removed from the atmosphere after planting billions of trees, the results would certainly be advantageous given the current climate crisis.

Read the full article here.

Other Relevant Articles

SST’s new research lab 01


Business as usual at SST’s new research lab

SST’s relocation to new premises in Gqeberha has not halted our work in any way. Research is continuing at our new laboratory after special care was taken with ...



SST welcomes Chandru Wadhwani to its Board of Trustees

SST is delighted to welcome Chandru Wadhwani to our esteemed Board of Trustees! Chandru has been involved in the textile and plastics industries for the last 32...

2023 Annual Marine Debris Report BCSS-1


BCSS releases Annual Marine Debris Report

One of the main players in marine science in East Africa, the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies (BCSS), has published its 2023 Annual Marine Debris Report,...

Follow our school of thought and sign up to our newsletter

We’re always factual, accurate and informed.