A new study, carried out by researchers at Swiss university ETH Zurich and published Thursday in the journal Science, has calculated that restoring degraded forests all over the world could capture about 205 billion tons of carbon in total. Global carbon emissions are currently around 10 trillion tons per year
The researchers identified ecosystems around the world that would naturally support some level of tree cover, but have become "degraded" ̵
. That would give the planet more than a trillion extra trees and 900 million hectares of additional tree canopy, an area about the size of the United States.
The researchers say their data shows global tree restoration to the most effective way to tackle climate change.
Tom Crowther, the study's senior author, customs CNN, " cheapest.
"The best restoration projects out there we know or restoring billions of trees at 30 cents. Scaled up to the numbers we're talking about it's $ 300 trillion. "[Read more] Amazon destruction accelerates 60% to one and a half soccer fields every minute
The study found that most of the land suitable for restoring forests trees is in six countries – Russia (151 million hectares), USA (103 million hectares), Canada (78 million), Australia (58 million), Brazil (50 million), and China (40 million).
But it also warned that the amount of land suitable for supporting new forests is shrinking because of climate change, and that the area available for forest restoration could be reduced by a fifth by 2050.
The researchers say that while most existing models predicted that climate change will increase global find cover of their own models found t has been hotter climate is likely to increase tree cover in northern areas, such as Siberia, that will be outweighed by climate change shrinking denser forests in tropical regions.
But they add that their models of future tree cover are characterized by high uncertainty, and don't take into account potential loss of forest for pasture or cattle raising.
Christiana Figueres, forms the executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention described the study as "an authoritative assessment of how much land we can and should cover with trees without impinging on food production or living areas. "
Simon Lewis, professor of Global Change Science at University College London, who was not involved with the research, agreed that we need to plant new forests to meet our climate change obligations, but said that the estimate th that 900 million hectares of restoration can store at additional 205 billion tons of carbon is too high and not supported by either previous studies or climate models. "He added:" The idea is that climate change risks are losing areas of tropical forests before 2050. also not consistent with the results from climate models or observational studies for today's forests.
"Today, the immediate major threat to tropical forests is deforestation by people and out of control fires, not the more subtle impacts of higher temperatures." June 28, 2019 – a forest fire in Catalonia, Spain, burned more than 6,500 hectares of land ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190704122058-spain-forest-fire-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>