What would happen if the world will be a forest the size of a continent?

Recently an Australian research team Breakthrough — National Centre for Climate Restoration announced that global warming will destroy mankind by the year 2050. To somehow slow down the process of global rising temperatures, people need to put on Earth a billion hectares of forest, but is there enough on the planet space to grow this number of trees? Researchers from ETH Zurich sure enough — on the planet there are 900 million hectares of free space that can be compared with the area of the United States.

To identify the amount of space for planting trees, the researchers used pictures of the map service Google Earth. They managed to gather a huge collection of 78 744 snapshots, each of which affects an area equal to 0.5 hectares. Each of these territories was estimated on the density of vegetation from 0 to 100%.

To plant a forest?

The calculations showed that at the moment, for planting forests available 900 million hectares of free space. The large number of trees can be planted in six countries: Russia, USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia and China. In particular, our country can make himself 151 million hectares of forest.

Yellow and green colors shown available for forest areas


Researchers believe that planting a forest the size of one large continent, humanity can neutralize 205 billion tons of carbon, while since 1901, the mankind produced 380 billion tons. The researchers recognize that if people now will not limit the amount of emissions, use of huge forests will be almost — dirty air would still be more than the net.

Our study clearly shows that reforestation is the best and most affordable to date, the solution to combat climate change. But we must act quickly, because new forests will take decades to Mature and begin to clear the air, — said Thomas Crowther, co-author of the study.

As the trees clean the air?

Some scientists do not agree with the results of the study, and I think they are too optimistic. For example, Professor Simon Lewis of University College London believes that the findings of researchers from ETH Zurich are not supported by any previous studies nor by climate models.

Red shows how much forests can disappear because of global warming

Some researchers doubt that the trees can effectively produce oxygen — due to the increase in air temperature, plants became worse to cope with its task. We also know that sometimes air pollution is to blame the trees themselves, because sometimes they release methane and other harmful substances.

In some cases, tree planting is contraindicated in Siberia with global warming the best way to cope a thick layer of snow, reflecting the sun’s heat. If the territory covered with vegetation, the effectiveness of the snow greatly reduced.

We recommend you to read: By 2080 global warming will force people to move to Siberia