A new study has found that the Earth has lost almost half of its trees since humans showed up on the planet. Researchers say that we’re responsible for reducing the number of trees by 46 percent (46%).
And even so, the Earth still has a little over three (3) trillion trees, a number that field experts did not expect as previous investigations concluded that there are a lot less of them. To put things in perspective, trees outnumber humans 400 to 1.
Nigel Sizer, global director of the Forests Program from the World Resources Institute, gave a statement saying that the “increase in the absolute number of trees they describe is stunning”.
But Dr. Thomas Crowther, lead researcher on the study and post-doctoral fellow from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies from Yale University, gave a statement of his own saying that the finding is a grim one. He informed that people are carving about 74.000 square miles of trees globally, on a early basis. This means that human beings are responsible for the destruction of 15.3 billion trees each year.
While the Earth managed to hold on to most of its trees for millions of years before humans evolved, we as a species have reduced the planet’s number of tress by almost 46 percent (46%) in just 12.000 years. Dr. Crowther explained that “That’s an astronomical figure”.
He did expect to discover that human activity plays a significant role in how many trees can be found on a local level, however he “didn’t expect to see humans come out as the strongest control on tree density” for all of the ecological areas that the research team looked at. He believes that the results really highlight “how big of an impact humans are having on the Earth at a global scale”.
The research team is currently trying to better understand the planet’s carbon cycle and to learn how trees may help them with their conservation efforts.
It all started about two (2) years ago, when field experts decided to provide a baseline of the density of tress across the planet. The information was meant to be used primarily by the Plant for the Planet, a nonprofit project based in Germany.
The project was continuing the effort previously started by the United Nations Environment Program, which planted 12 billion trees over the course of four (4) years.
The goal is to increase the number of trees on the planet in an attempt to scrub the earth’s atmosphere clean of carbon dioxide and to counteract its emission, all in hope that this will keep global warming under control.
But in order to deduce what a helpful number of trees would look like and set a target for the project, the researchers first needed to know how many trees the planet already has. After examining their findings, Plant for the Planet announced that they are aiming to plant 1 trillion trees by the time we reach 2020.
Dr. Crowther and his colleagues also revealed that there are currently 799.4 billion trees in moist forests, 794.3 billion trees in boreal forests, and 22.2 billion trees in the Mangove forest.
The tropics and subtropics make up 42.8 percent (42.8%) of all of the Earth’s trees, boreal forests make up 24.2 percent (24.2%) of all of the Earth’s trees, temperate biomes make up 21.8 percent (21.8%) of all of the Earth’s trees.
For their study, the research team looked at 429.775 measurements of tree density across all continents except Antarctica.
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