Trees and Climate

 In Blog, Education, Trees

The con­nec­tion between trees and cli­mate is a big one. On the micro and macro lev­el, trees are work­ing hard every day to improve our cli­mate. Trees are an impor­tant part of the bat­tle against cli­mate change. While they aren’t the only piece of the puz­zle, they are an impor­tant one!

One of the ways trees help our cli­mate is through car­bon seques­tra­tion. Trees are a car­bon sink. No, it’s not a kitchen sink full of car­bon. A car­bon sink is a nat­ur­al sys­tem that sucks up and stores car­bon diox­ide from the atmos­phere. Forests are one of the most effec­tive car­bon sinks out there. After remov­ing CO2 from the air, trees release oxy­gen, which we need to breathe. You can read even more about how trees clean the air in our air qual­i­ty blog from last year.

A recent study shows that Earth could sup­port anoth­er 900 mil­lion hectares of forests (2.2 BILLION acres), which is 25% more than we have right now. In fact, the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Pan­el on Cli­mate Change in 2018 sug­gest­ed that plant­i­ng anoth­er 950 mil­lion hectares could help to hold the glob­al aver­age tem­per­a­ture to just 2.7 degrees Fahren­heit above pre-indus­tri­al lev­els in the next 30 years.

Trees are an impor­tant part of glob­al cli­mate change and the big pic­ture, but they also impact our local cli­mate every day.

Pic­ture your­self rid­ing your bike in your neigh­bor­hood, or sit­ting in the park. You prob­a­bly pic­ture your­self under a tree in the shade, right? The shade from trees makes your time out­side cool­er (lit­er­al­ly) and also helps to com­bat heat island effect. Neigh­bor­hoods with more tree cov­er are cool­er, and less heat is emit­ted from trees than from asphalt bak­ing in the sum­mer sun!

 

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