In honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, citizens of the United Kingdom have being invited to participate in a countrywide tree-planting drive this year.
Redditors have even gotten in on the fun, as seen by the torrent of memes they produced in 2019 to encourage popular YouTuber Mr. Beast to plant 20 million trees in honor of reaching 20 million followers. Mr. Beast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, accepted the challenge, kicked up a fundraising campaign, and collaborated with the Arbour Day Foundation, a charitable organization that works to preserve trees, in order to surpass the goal.
But why is the planting of trees as a solution to the climate catastrophe being given such a high priority? And might the unassuming tree truly be the key to saving the world?
The Three Most Important Aspects of Planting Trees That You Need to Be Aware Of
- Trees are the most efficient carbon storage mechanisms known to man; just one hectare of forest may hold as much as 400 tons of carbon.
- Replanting an area of forest the size of the United States would sequester 205 billion tons of carbon, which is equivalent to storing two-thirds of the 300 billion tons of carbon that have been released into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.
- Planting programs need to be thoroughly planned and researched before they can be successful; otherwise, they will cause more harm than good.
The inner workings of trees Trees are the most efficient carbon storage mechanisms there are. They, like other plants, engage in a process known as photosynthesis, in which they extract energy and growth-promoting nutrients from the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. As a result of this process, they release oxygen into the atmosphere, which humans then breathe in.
Woodlands and forests have the ability to store carbon for hundreds of years; this is something that humanity and the world sorely need them for because of the damage that human activity has caused to the atmosphere through the emission of carbon dioxide. What is tree terminology? Tree terminology will tell you all you need to know about trees and will help you if you’re wanting to plant your own.
The Forest Trust, a conservation nonprofit based in the United Kingdom, estimates that just one hectare (or 10,000 square meters, which is equivalent to around two and a half football pitches) of woodland is capable of storing 400 tons of carbon by itself.
It follows that chopping down trees has major repercussions for the amount of carbon emissions that are produced. A study conducted in 2018 found that logging in the state of Oregon, which is located in the United States, had been responsible for the release of 33 million tons of carbon dioxide each year since the year 2000. This figure far outweighs the contributions of other sources of carbon emissions, such as transportation, in the state.
It is true that all trees store carbon, but researchers believe that tropical rainforests may be significantly more effective in preventing climate change than other types of woods. According to the Rainforest Alliance, they have a quick growth rate and form a cloud cover that results in the rainforest that reflects the sun’s rays back into space. They also play an important role in the climate system, as they contribute to the formation of precipitation by way of the water vapor that escapes from their leaves, which in turn serves to prevent droughts in the area.
There is a great lot of variation in the estimates of the quantity of carbon that the Amazon rainforest has stored from the atmosphere. But regardless of the exact number, research has demonstrated that it has contributed to a reduction in the amount of carbon emissions produced by the countries that are located in its immediate vicinity.
Climate experts have extolled the benefits of planting trees as well as safeguarding the trees that we currently have, and for all of these reasons they have done so.
A massive research that was conducted and released by the ETZ Zurich University in 2019 came to the conclusion that the world could save 205 billion tons of carbon if a very big amount of forest was restored globally. This area of forest would be similar in size to the United States. According to the findings of the study, this accounts for around two thirds of the 300 billion tons that have been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activities since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
According to the study’s primary investigator, Professor Thomas Crowther, the findings were “mind-blowing.”
He stated that “We all understood that restoring forests may play a part in playing a part in combating climate change, but we didn’t really know how great of an impact it would have…
However, we must delay in taking action since it will take decades for new forests to grow and reach their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage.
How the actions of people are impairing the functions that trees can do
However, both climate change and the loss of forest cover provide a significant obstacle to the vital function that forests serve in the protection of the world.
Recent months have seen the appearance of disheartening information suggesting that the Amazon rainforest is losing its capacity to store carbon as a result of the harm that has been done to it. In point of fact, a number of activities, both naturally occurring and those induced by humans, are contributing to it, and this is in some cases causing the emission of greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. As a consequence of this, scientists are very worried about the mounting evidence that certain regions of the Amazon are shifting from acting as a carbon sink to acting as a carbon source.
According to the findings of a research that was conducted in March of 2021, the drying up of wetland areas and the soil compaction that results from activities such as logging can both contribute to increased emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
According to the findings of yet another study published in May 2021, increasing temperatures might hinder a tree’s capacity to photosynthesise as rapidly, despite the fact that the process is being carried out.