Sometimes, the simplest idea is the most effective solution. Scientists have just determined that planting trees is the best way to tackle the climate crisis.
When trees grow, they absorb and store carbon dioxide emissions that are released into the atmosphere by human activities. According to the study, published in the journal Science, two-thirds of all carbon dioxide emissions can be absorbed and stored if enough trees are planted. The proposed reforestation process would take between 50 and 100 years to take full effect, but it would certainly be worth it.
Professor Tom Crowther, at the Swiss university ETH Zurich, said to The Guardian, “This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one. What blows my mind is the scale. I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed.”
According to Crowther, reforestation is even more feasible because it doesn’t require a massive shift in government policy. “It is available now,” he said. “It is the cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved.” Individuals are encouraged to grow trees themselves and donate to reforestation organizations.
According to the study, 11 percent of non-urban land, a surface the size of the US and China combined, is currently treeless and not used for crops. This land could be used to plant the 1.2 trillion trees needed to save life on Earth.