Trees can’t save us from climate change – but society will always depend on forests – podcast

Trees can’t save us from climate change – but society will always depend on forests – podcast

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This episode of The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud podcast explores why there aren’t enough trees to offset society’s carbon emissions – and there never will be.

You can read the text version of this in-depth article here. The audio version is read by Jane Wing in partnership with Noa, News Over Audio. You can listen to more articles from The Conversation, for free, on the Noa app.

Bonnie Waring, senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and Environment, at Imperial College London, recently conducted a review of the available scientific literature to assess how much carbon forests could feasibly absorb. She says that if we absolutely maximised the amount of vegetation all land on Earth could hold, we’d sequester enough carbon to offset about ten years of greenhouse gas emissions at current rates.

Yet the fate of our species is inextricably linked to the survival of forests and the biodiversity they contain. By rushing to plant millions of trees for carbon capture, could we be inadvertently damaging the very forest properties that make them so vital to our wellbeing?

The music in In Depth Out Loud is Night Caves, by Lee Rosevere. In Depth Out Loud is produced by Gemma Ware.

This story came out of a project at The Conversation called Insights, which is supported by Research England. You can read more stories in the series here.

The Conversation

Bonnie Waring is a scientific consultant to Plant-for-the-Planet and The Carbon Community, a charity aimed at enhancing carbon capture and protecting biodiversity in reforestation projects. She has received research funding to study ecosystem carbon dynamics in reforestation trials operated by both organizations.

source: The Conversation: Trees can’t save us from climate change – but society will always depend on forests – podcast

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