By Tim Radford / <a href="climatenewsnetwork.net/planting-more-trees-could-cut-carbon-by-25/">Climate News Network</a>
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
Swiss scientists have identified an area roughly the size of the United States that could be newly shaded by planting more trees. If the world’s nations then protected these 9 million square kilometres of canopy over unused land, the new global forest could in theory soak up enough carbon to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas by an estimated 25%.
That is, the extent of new tree canopy would be enough to take the main driver of global heating back to conditions on Earth a century ago.
And a second study, released in the same week, identifies 100 million hectares of degraded or destroyed tropical forest in 15 countries where restoration could start right now – and 87% of these hectares are in biodiversity hotspots that hold high concentrations of species found nowhere else.
The global study of the space available for tree canopy is published in the journal Science. Researchers looked for land not used for agriculture or developed for human settlement. They excluded wetlands and grasslands already fulfilling important ecological functions.
Huge canopy increase
They left existing forests out of their calculations. And they identified enough degraded,…