Top level statistics and info
- While fossil fuels emit carbon when we burn them, trees absorb carbon to grow.
- Since humans started cutting them down, half of the world’s forests have disappeared.
- The world loses a football field of forest every 2 seconds.
- Direct annual benefits of (standing) forests clock in at $130 billion.
- The cost of deforestation is anywhere between $2-5 trillion annually if you include forests’ role in water provision, soil protection, carbon storage and climate regulation.
- A single mangrove tree can remove over 300 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, assuming it grows for 25 years. That is roughly 12 kg of CO2 per year.
Why are trees and forests so important?
In the fight against climate change, trees are an exceptional resource. While fossil fuels emit planet-warming carbon when we burn them, trees absorb carbon to grow. They store that carbon inside themselves, in their trunk, roots, and surrounding soil, in a process known as carbon sequestration. In return, they release oxygen, the very molecule we need to breathe.
In addition to mitigating climate change, forests also have other crucial functions for Earth’s biosphere. They are habitats for a vast majority of Earth’s species of plants and animals. Forests also have huge roles in water provision, soil protection and climate regulation.
Details about Mangroves
Mangroves are small trees that grow in the salty coastal waters of over 100 countries. Mangrove forests are essential ecosystems whose dense roots serve as an anchor for the soil and coastline, preventing erosion and creating a barrier between harsh ocean systems and land. They store four times as much carbon as even tropical rainforest, making them an important tool to mitigate climate change.
- Document on Mangroves provided by Eden Reforestation Projects
Verdn blog on deforestation and ‘the emissions gap’: https://verdn.substack.com/p/a-football-field-every-2-seconds