How Forests Benefit the Climate
Kaylee Brzezinski | February 20 2020 | 6 min read
the relationship between trees and the climate
TTrees have been getting a lot of attention lately for being one of the most important nature-based solutions to save us all from climate change. We think it's safe to say that trees are pretty trendy right now. Even the World Economic Forum has advocated to plant 1 trillion trees!
Most people probably know that trees produce oxygen and absorb carbon from the atmosphere but they can do so much more than that. Interested to learn more about the relationship between trees and the climate? Keep reading to find out!
HOW TREES AFFECT THE CLIMATE
Trees do much more than absorb carbon and produce oxygen. They lower temperature, protect and prevent natural disasters, absorb carbon emissions, filter water, and restore degraded lands. That's really just scratching the surface!
But how in the world do they do it? When it comes to lowering temperature, one obvious way trees do it is by providing shade with canopy coverage. Shaded areas can actually be up to 45 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than unshaded areas. This method of cooling is extremely beneficial in areas like cities which have a lot of pavement and buildings and that can suffer from the heat island effect.
The more complicated method of cooling is through evapotranspiration, which is the combination of evaporation and transpiration that causes moisture to be released into the air. It's sort of nature's way of sweating, and sweating is how we cool ourselves down!
how forests can help fight against the effects of climate change
Climate change is much more than warmer climate. It also causes us to experience more frequent and stronger disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, and forest fires. Trees can help reduce the likelihood of disasters, and protect us when they do occur.
One way trees help us against the negative impact of natural disasters is by creating a barrier from harsh winds and rising floodwaters. For example, in instances where there is strong wind from storms, trees can help reduce the force in which wind rips through the land, shielding our homes and surrounding nature from harm.
Trees also help to prevent disasters is by reducing landslides and soil erosion. The root systems of trees actually help hold together land and soil, maintaining the integrity of ecosystems to keep them intact. If we haven't sold you on the importance of trees yet, did you know that they are able to absorb carbon emissions and air pollutants?! A single mature trees can absorb up to 22 pounds of carbon per year.
Finally, trees can help "clean the air" as they are able to absorb other greenhouse gasses and filter fine particles out of the air, which is extremely important if we take into account that nearly 90% of the world's population is currently breathing polluted air.
If you'd like to join us in the movement to prevent climate change there are several ways you can do that through trees! Do you travel a lot? Why not offset your carbon footprint by planting trees every time you fly? Or just plant trees to offset your footprint in general! We have many great reforestation projects around the world that you can choose from.
And if you're looking for a way to help ensure that there are trees for healthy forest bathing for many years to come, plant a tree with us!