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Reforestation is an important an increasingly more well recognized solution to our global environmental and climate change crisis.
As an anchor and integral part of the carbon cycle, forests have the ability to sequester enormous amounts of carbon and potentially have the ability to offset most of the carbon dioxide already emitted by humans.
As a rough average a single tree is capable of removing 48 pounds of carbon per year, over a 40 year lifespan that tree can remove and store 1 ton of carbon. Currently it is estimated that the worlds forests absorb approximate 40 percent of manmade carbon, a further 6 billion tons is offset each year by reforestation efforts, however, this is canceled out by the nearly 10.8 billion tons of carbon released by deforestation.
In recent years much effort has been given to estimate a rough figure of how many trees the world would need to plant in order to offset all of the carbon that has and will contribute to Global Warming in the coming decades as we strive to decarbonize our energy use. One of the strongest advocates for reforestation who quantified how many trees the Earth currently has versus how many more trees would be needed, 1.2 trillion, was Dr. Thomas Crowther at ETH Zurich.
While reforestation seems like an obvious and perhaps a relatively easy fix, it should be noted that the effects of climate change make the process more difficult, for example, the increasing severity and frequency of wildfires and the migration of trees westward and to higher elevations in the US and the further desertification on the edges of the Sahara desert.