Forests Help Reduce Global Warming In More Ways Than One

It is a fact that forests cover approximately 30% of the land surface of our planet. It’s a good thing because trees can help reduce the carbon from the air and release oxygen that helps us all to live. According to data, forests have removed about 2 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year since 2000. It helps slow climate change and preserves the earth. Read on to know more about how forests help reduce global warming in more ways than one.

The Challenge

The biggest challenge planet earth faces concerning preserving and promoting forests is deforestation. Over the last 8,000, humans have removed about half of the forests from the earth to make room for agriculture and urbanization. When trees are cut down or burned, it releases carbon dioxide stored in the trees.

How Can Forests Help?

According to a recent study, tropical forests can help cool the average global temperature by over 1 degree Celsius. This is largely due to forests’ capacity to capture and store atmospheric carbon (SN: 11/18/21). One-third of the tropical cooling effect also comes from many other processes like releasing vapors and aerosols.

When trees release water vapors via pores in their leaves, it is called evapotranspiration. It cools the trees and their surroundings the same way sweating does for us. Uneven forest canopies also have a cooling effect by providing an undulating surface that can bump hot and overpass fronts of air upward and away. Also, generate aerosols which can lower temperatures by seeding clouds and reflecting sunlight.

Tree leaves also absorb more sunlight than other types of land cover like bare grounds or even fields. Forests can help reduce the surface albedo of earth, which means that earth would reflect less incoming sunlight into space. This effect is specifically pronounced in mountainous or dry regions or at higher latitudes where slow-growing coniferous trees with dark leaves cover light-colored ground, or there is snow that would otherwise reflect sunlight.

Tropical forests are climate coolers, and the proof of that is that trees in tropical forests grow faster and transpire massive amounts of water that form clouds. It further helps cool the climate.

Healthy forests also provide many other benefits, like they offer clean water and being a perfect habitat for plants and animals that cannot live anywhere else.

The Inkling

The first clue that plants can suck carbon dioxide from the air was in the 1780s when Jean Senebier, a Swiss pastor, grew plants under different experimental conditions and suggested that plants decompose CO2 from the air and incorporate the carbon. After some time, his idea was corroborated by discoveries about the mechanisms of photosynthesis.

The Simple Answer

Now that you know forests help reduce global warming in more ways than one, you should plant a tree or add plants to your home. You can also help propagate the reversal of deforestation by supporting afforestation, reforestation, and the natural regeneration of forest ecosystems.



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