Recently an Australian research groupBreakthrough - National Center for Climate Restoration has announced that global warming could destroy humanity by 2050. In order to somehow slow down the process of global temperature increase, people need to plant a billion hectares of forest on Earth, but is there enough room on the planet to grow so many trees? Researchers from Zurich Swiss Higher Technical School are sure that enough is enough - there are 900 million hectares of free space on the planet, which can be compared to the US area.
To identify the amount of free space forplanting trees, scientists used photos from the Google Earth map service. They managed to collect a huge collection of 78,744 images, each of which affects an area of 0.5 hectares. Each of these areas was estimated for vegetation thickness: desert areas corresponded to zero percent, and tropical forests were noted by hundreds of percent.
Where can I plant a forest?
Calculations have shown that at the moment forplanting forests available 900 million hectares of free space. The largest number of trees can be planted in six countries: Russia, USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia and China. In particular, our country can grow on itself 151 million hectares of forest.
Yellow and green colors indicate areas free for forests.
Researchers believe that planting a forest the size ofone large continent, humanity can neutralize 205 billion tons of carbon, whereas since 1901, humanity has produced 380 billion tons. At the same time, researchers recognize that if people do not limit emissions now, there will be practically no sense from a huge forest - there will still be more dirty air than clean air.
Our research clearly shows thatReforestation is the best and most affordable solution to combat climate change. But we must act quickly, as new forests will take decades to mature and begin to clear the air, ”announced Thomas Krauter, co-author of the study.
How do trees clean the air?
Some scientists disagree with the results.research, and they are considered too optimistic. For example, Professor Simon Lewis of University College London believes that the findings of researchers from the Swiss Higher Technical School of Zurich are not confirmed by previous studies or climate models.
Red color shows how much forest can disappear due to warming.
Some researchers doubt that treescan effectively release oxygen - due to the increase in air temperature, the plants have become worse to cope with their task. It is also known that sometimes the trees themselves are to blame for air pollution, because sometimes they emit methane and other harmful substances.
In some cases, planting trees at allcontraindicated - in Siberia global warming is best handled by a thick layer of snow that reflects solar heat. If this area is covered with vegetation, the effectiveness of snow will greatly decrease.
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