Reforestation can be natural or intentional and the purpose of it is to restock existing forests and woodlands that have been depleted. The main reason for this depletion is deforestation. So, what can reforestation do for the earth? Let’s consider some Reforestation Facts and begin to understand why reforestation is important. Reforestation is a planned or deliberate movement to regrow vegetation lost due to human activity, natural calamity or sudden climate change.
Facts about reforestation
There are many things to learn about reforestation and here there is a list of facts that explain much more about it.
- There are about three trillion trees on the planet and they play a major role in producing the oxygen we all breathe. But twice as many existed before the start of human civilization.
- Today, 10 billion more trees are cut down than are planted every year. This destruction is a significant contributor to the carbon emissions that are driving the climate crisis.
- Forests are a vital and rich habitat for wildlife but unfortunately the razing of forests is a major contributor to biodiversity losses.
- Tropical rainforests host 50% of known terrestrial species on only 6% of the world’s land
- Trees are important in controlling regional rainfall, as they evaporate water from their leaves.
- The world’s rainforests could be extinct in 100 years should we continue with the current rate of deforestation.
- As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are driving global heating.
- A living tree draws in and stores twice as much carbon dioxide than a fallen tree releases.
- CO2 stored in trees is released into the atmosphere when they are destroyed via logging or burning.
- Tree roots anchor the soil and prevent soil erosion.
- Many Western medicines, including anti-cancer drugs are derived from plants found in rainforests.
- In urban areas, the shade from trees has been shown to both cool city streets and reduce levels of air pollution.
- They can also boost people’s wellbeing as part of green spaces, with research showing two-hour “dose” of nature a week significantly improving health.
How Forests Affect Climate Change
Our Forests are central in developing global solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Trees use water and sunlight to convert CO2 into carbohydrates through the process of photosynthesis to provide energy and the building blocks for growth. Carbon removed from the atmosphere is effectively stored in plant material and wood, i.e., trees act as carbon sinks.
Reforestation is also important for a number of other reasons including the fact that 1.6 billion people worldwide rely on forests for their livelihoods. Additionally, forests have been shown to have benefits related to anti-erosion, flood control, water security, soil protection/production and the maintenance of biodiversity.
Ultimately, reforestation is the simplest way to improve the quality of the air we breathe. Plants soak in carbon dioxide from the air, helps in precipitation and lowering surface temperature. If we rapidly lose vegetation the average temperature will continue to rise.
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