How Far Can Reforestation Go?
Want to know the potential for reforesting the Earth? Here's what NASA researchers found:
Earth’s ecosystems could support another 900 million hectares (ha), or over 3.4 million square miles, of forests.
That would be a 25% increase from the forests we have today.
Planting over a half-trillion trees could capture about 205 gigatons of carbon (one gigaton = one billion metric tons = 1.1 billion tons)
That would cut atmospheric carbon by about 25%.
That’s enough to negate nearly half of all carbon emitted by humans since 1960.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposed that 950 million ha (3.7 million square miles) of new forests could help limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2050.
Reforesting a region the size of the United States and Canada (1 billion to 2 billion ha or over 7 million square miles) could take from one to two thousand years to accomplish—if we plant a million ha per year at 50 to 100 trees per ha.
Information in this article was derived from NASA’s Vital Signs of the Planet: https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2927/examining-the-viability-of-planting-trees-to-help-mitigate-climate-change/