Earth has three trillion trees but we are cutting them fast


This is according to some study the amounts of trees that are on Planet Earth nowadays. The good news : this is much more than what we previously thought. The bad news : we are cutting them down fast, to a rate of 15 billion per year.

According to Treehugger :

The latest estimate, which is based on mass of ground survey data and satellite pictures compiled by researchers at Yale University, is closer to 3 trillion trees, or about 7.5x more than we thought. Of these trees, approximately 1.39 trillion are located in tropical and subtropical forests, 0.74 trillion in boreal regions, and 0.61 trillion in temperate regions.

 

Since the last ice age 11,000 years ago, Mankind has cut an estimate three trillion. Last year alone, forests twice the size of Portugal were chopped down. Some estimates that by 2050, Mankind could deforest an area the size of India.

As Climate Progress reported :

The report, published Monday by the Center for Global Development (CGD), found that, without new policies aimed at cutting back on deforestation, 289 million hectares (about 1,115,840 square miles) of tropical forests will be cleared away.

That’s a chunk, the report states, that’s equal to one-seventh of what the Earth’s total tropical forest area was in 2000. And, according to the report, the 169 gigatons of carbon dioxide that this deforestation will unleash is equal to one-sixth of the carbon budget that humans can emit if they want to keep warming below 2°C

(…) The study does point to one change in policy that would cut deforestation rates and help alleviate climate change: a price on carbon. According to the report, a price of $20 per ton of carbon would keep 41 gigatons of carbon dioxide from being emitted between 2016 and 2050, and a price of $50 per ton would keep 77 gigatons from being emitted.

So I guess this is another strong reason for a carbon tax… The time to act is now as deforestation is still a huge issue. 

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