Saturday, July 06, 2019

Restoring Forests Could Help Put a Brake on Global Warming

Researchers found that Earth could support an additional 2.5 billion acres of forestland. (Credit Christie Hemm Klok for The New York Times) Click to Enlarge.
Parts of the study — led by researchers at ETH Zurich, a university that specializes in science, technology and engineering — were immediately criticized.

The critics did not dispute that 200 gigatons of carbon could be absorbed by trees if you planted them on every space of land available.  They disputed the implications.

The study’s authors asserted that, under their model, forest restoration could absorb two-thirds of historic emissions.  Zeke Hausfather, an analyst for the climate science website Carbon Brief, said the true figure would be closer to one-third.  That’s because part of the emissions absorbed by the additional trees would have been absorbed by the soil or the seas anyway.

“That’s not to say that reforestation is not an important mitigation strategy, just to caution that like every other climate solution, it’s part of a larger portfolio of strategies rather than a silver bullet,” Mr. Hausfather said.

Pep Canadell, director of the Global Carbon Project, an Australia-based scientific group that produces global carbon budgets, said that reforestation “won’t fix the climate problem, albeit it should be part of the solution.”

Read more at Restoring Forests Could Help Put a Brake on Global Warming

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