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The Global Tree Restoration Potential

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The Global Tree Restoration Potential

Science,

5 min read
4 take-aways
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What's inside?

Global reforestation provides a promising strategy for battling climate change – if it begins now.


Editorial Rating

8

Recommendation

Planting trees remains one of humanity’s most promising strategies for reversing the effects of climate change. This report, compiled by a group of leading environmental scientists, delineates a global map of regions where almost a billion hectares of tree canopy could be strategically established. The experts warn that if such a plan is not initiated immediately, CO2 levels could continue to negatively affect worldwide climate. Their map offers a hopeful plan, along with an urgent call to action.

Summary

International groups are focusing on reforestation as a means to combat rising global CO2 levels.

One recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that to restrict global warming to 1.5°C [2.7°F] by 2050, 1 billion hectares of new forest must be planted. So far, it’s been impossible to accurately predict future climate conditions and exactly where the plantings could take place around the world.

To research this report, environmentalists built models which measured tree cover from areas around the planet that are relatively untouched by human activities. They examined 78,774 photos of natural forested areas, along with a data set of global tree cover measurements. They then employed machine-learning applications to study these environments and ...

About the Authors

Jean-Francois Bastin is an ecologist and a geographer using remote sensing to study the relationship between global change and terrestrial ecosystems. Other authors include Yelena Finegold, Claude Garcia, Danilo MolliconeMarcelo Rezende, Devin Routh, Constantin M. Zohner and Thomas W. Crowther.


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