Trees are Healing the Planet

A recent study found that new forests might be our best shot at saving the world. A global guide to doing it right.

Image result for trees are healing the planetThey make it look so easy. Credit: Nathan Anerson via Unsplash

It’s not often these days that there is good news about climate change. So when a recent study suggested that establishing a trillion new trees around the world could turn back the climate clock to the 1970’s, it landed like a bombshell in the scientific community. Researchers analyzing satellite data calculated about 2.2 billion acres of available land around the world that could be converted into forest cover, capturing 205 gigatonnes of CO2. This could bring down atmospheric levels by twenty five percent.

Prof. Thomas Crowther who co-authored the research said, “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.”

That’s a big statement — one that got the whole world got excited to run out and plant trees. Hell, it even became an election platform.

But there are many challenges with planning landscape-level projects decades into the future, especially as climate change alters local growing conditions. And unless the underlying causes of past deforestation are addressed, any new trees planted may suffer the same fate as the ones they are replacing.

So before we all stick shovels in the ground, we decided to take a look at some examples of resilient reforestation efforts and why they worked. MORE

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The global tree restoration potential

One thought on “Trees are Healing the Planet”

  1. Here are some wise thoughts on this topic from one of our CSG farmers :
    Similar to trees as a carbon sink, I refer to the book “Dirt, the erosion of Civilizations” by Dr David Montgomery of the University of Washington.

    In addition to the economic and agronomic advantages, “No till agriculture could provide on of the relatively few rapid responses to help hold off global warming. When soil is plowed and exposed to the air, oxidation of organic matter releases carbon dioxide gas. No-till agriculture has the potential to increase the organic content of the top few inches of soil by 1 percent a decade…..A third of the total carbon dioxide build up in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution has come not from fossil fuels but from the degradation of soil organic matter. Improvement of agricultural soils presents and opportunity to sequester large amount of carbon dioxide to slow global warming and help feed a growing population. If every farmer in the US were to adopt no-till practices and plant cover crops, American agriculture could turn farms into net carbon sinks rather than sources of greenhouse gases.. While this would not solve the problem of global warming, the soil can only hold so much carbon, increasing soil carbon would help buy time to deal with the root of the problem.

    David Montgomery’s has a more recent book out titled “Growing a revolution, bringing our soils back to life”

    Like

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