Fighting Climate Change with Trees
The impacts of Climate Change, due to human activity, is already evident in many parts of the world. We see the changing weather patterns: with monster storms, floods, unusual heat waves and so on. One of the simple solutions that everyone can participate in is planting trees. Each part of the tree contributes to climate control, from leaves to roots, in three primary ways: they lower temperatures, reduce energy usage and reduce or remove air pollutants.
Whether you plant trees around your home and property, in your community or in our national forests, they do help fight Climate Change.
One great initiative in this area is a project launched by the alternative search engine Ecosia (Check out the following link: https://info.ecosia.org/project). Searches help to fund tree planting around the globe, with extraordinary results. To date, over 18 million trees have been planted.
While they are growing, trees use sunlight to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it as carbon in the form of wood. (Figure 1)
One of the practical ways to combat climate change is to plant more trees in order to take more carbon out of the atmosphere (as long as the trees are planted in the right place).
Younger trees absorb carbon dioxide quickly while they are growing, but as a tree ages a steady state is eventually reached, and at this point the amount of carbon absorbed through photosynthesis is similar to that lost through respiration and decay. If trees are harvested carefully near this time in the growth cycle, and new trees are planted or allowed to regenerate, then this can keep the forest as a net “sink” of carbon. Therefore careful woodland management can mean that woodlands are able to take up the maximum amount of carbon possible. (Figure 2)
As you can see, trees are beneficial to tackle Climate Change and an important part of keeping our environment healthy in many ways. Their contribution doesn’t stop here.
Trees truly "green" our planet in a countless number of ways. Why not plant one today?
1. & 2. Forestry Commission England (online). Accessed 27.12.17