Magazine article Geographical

Planting the Seeds: The Lead Author of a Scientific Study, Which Claimed That Planting Trees Has Mind-Blowing Potential to Tackle the Climate Crisis, Reflects on the Mixed Response to the Report

Magazine article Geographical

Planting the Seeds: The Lead Author of a Scientific Study, Which Claimed That Planting Trees Has Mind-Blowing Potential to Tackle the Climate Crisis, Reflects on the Mixed Response to the Report

Article excerpt

Not every scientific study gets the attention it deserves, but every now and then one captures the public imagination. That's what happened when a group of scientists demonstrated that the Earth is home to 1.7bn hectares of treeless land (around the size of the US), which they say could support an additional 500 billion native trees without affecting cities or agriculture. If planted, the researchers, led by Dr Thomas Crowther of ETH Zurich, claim that once mature, these trees could remove around two-thirds of all the carbon emissions produced by humans in the industrial era. The estimates were produced by combining satellite images of Earths surface with environmental data about where trees can grow and how much carbon they can store.

While the frenzy that accompanied the release of the report was largely positive (Crowther says that donations to restoration projects spiked in its wake), there were criticisms. Geographical caught up with Crowther to discuss the response the report generated...

Some commenters to the report suggested that planting 500 billion trees isn't economically viable.

'Well, the study was never intended to include an economic analysis but that's certainly the next step. I'm optimistic that it can be done. We really want to start looking into the economics of global-scale restoration. I hope this will inspire more government support, but I don't think that's what's going to make the difference. I really think its going to be industry and the general public donating. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.