Ecologist Thomas Crowther and his colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university, have determined that planting 1.2 trillion trees would cancel out a decade of carbon emissions.
The researchers have also estimated that the planet has over 3 trillion trees, about seven times more than previously thought.
“There’s 400 gigatons [of CO2 stored] now in the 3 trillion trees,” Crowther said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington, D.C. last February.
“If you were to scale that up by another trillion trees, that’s in the order of hundreds of giga-tons captured from the atmosphere – at least 10 years of anthropogenic emissions completely wiped out,” he continued.
The effects of climate change we’re currently experiencing have been caused by a sharp rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Trees are a natural weapon against climate change because they remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it to oxygen.
Crowther believes that trees are “our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change”.
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