A team of researchers from the Yale University recently reported that the Earth is populated by more than three trillion trees. This may seem like a huge number, but, in fact, the vegetation is scarcer than needed.
The data was collected from satellites and revealed that there are over 422 trees for every individual inhabiting the earth. However, we need to plant more than that for a healthier planet.
People are largely responsible for massive deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats for many species on Earth. It was shown that about 45 percent of the trees on the planet have been destroyed since human civilization began.
Nowadays, about 15.3 billion trees are being destroyed every year. Thinking about the global population that is two trees and a half per person.
“Trees provide us with oxygen, trees cool our environment and help to deflect the urban heat island effect … I didn’t expect human activity to come out as the strongest control on tree density … It really highlights how big an impact humans are having on the Earth at a global scale,” said lead study author Thomas Crowther, who is a postdoctoral fellow, working at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
The most worrying aspect is that the population’s needs are increasing because the number of people inhabiting the earth is on the rise. This means that more trees are going to be cut down every year. The consequences of even more deforestation will be catastrophic on the already harmed planet.
Researchers think that the study will have a good impact on organizations and campaigns that are concerned with environmentalist aspects, including planting trees.
Moreover, the experts are hoping these worrying numbers will raise some awareness regarding the importance of keeping forest intact as much as possible. According to the lead study author, they are the most important organisms that the planet has.
They are the only ones with the potential to diminish the harmful effects of global warming because they have the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and release the oxygen that people and animals need to breathe.
The highest densities of trees were recorded in Russia, North America and Scandinavia, even if the largest areas covered with forests were found in the tropics, where about 43 percent
Image Source: equineecogreenus