Should we keep planting trees? | science | news | the sun

theGovernments and companies are very enthusiastic about projects aimed at planting trees. According to the promoters of these programs, planted trees could offset current carbon dioxide emissions.2 And even remove those that have accumulated in the atmosphere for decades. For example, in 2020, the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Initiative. One of the goals is to start a movement against climate change.

However, despite the large sums invested in these programs, the area of ​​forests on Earth is not increasing. Experts say the main problem is an excessive focus on the number of trees planted and not enough on the number of surviving trees.

In 1978, China launched a massive tree-planting program 4,500 km in the north of the country to slow the progress of the Gobi Desert. However, a 2011 analysis showed that 85% of farms failed because the selected tree species did not survive in their new environment. A similar situation was observed in Turkey, where 90% of the trees planted in 2019 died within three months of being planted.

According to a western kenny he met science newsThe problem is that we invest a lot without caring what happens next. Experts stress the importance of good planning when planting any species and at any location and then assessing growth.

Choose more efficient forests

In addition, not all reforestation projects are created equal. In fact, forests themselves can become sources of carbon dioxide2 Due to land clearing activities, forest fires and burning of wood products. For example, the forests of Southeast Asia now produce more carbon than they absorb. This is also the case with parts of the Amazon rainforest.

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According to experts, letting the forest grow again naturally will remove a lot of carbon dioxide2 of planting new trees. New plantations consisting of one type of tree can emit more carbon than they do. This type of project can also reduce biodiversity.

Urgent need to act

Experts agree that climate change is accelerating. In the past 200 years, greenhouse gases have caused global temperatures to rise. Clearly, reducing carbon emissions is essential.

However, in the current situation, this will not be enough to limit the rise in temperatures. Therefore, it is necessary to develop technologies to remove carbon dioxide2 air. For example, some technologies aim to convert it into fuel. Reforestation remains a promising approach, provided existing initiatives are well planned and involve local communities.

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