When a mass number of trees (or entire forests) are destroyed they release a significant amount of carbon dioxide or CO2 back into the atmosphere. The CO2 traps heat in the air and causes temperatures to rise. Add in the effects of fossil fuel emissions and we’re in serious trouble.
But it’s not too late! ReTree is the simplest way to start making an impact and reverse climate change. Here are the facts, good and bad, so you know what we’re up against and why planting trees is so beneficial:
The Not So Good
- The destruction and degradation of trees and entire forests contributes to climate change through the release of CO2 (which trees store and use).
- Destroying trees accounts for 23 percent of current man-made CO2 emissions, which equates to 17 percent of the 100-year warming impact of all current greenhouse-gas emissions.
- Increased human fossil-fuel consumption over the past two centuries has increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The levels recently surpassed 400 parts per million, the highest level in more than 800,000 years.
- Global surface temperatures have risen by about one degree centigrade since 1880; the 10 warmest years ever recorded—with the exception of 1998—have occurred since 2000. In fact, 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded.
- Sea levels have risen 6.7 inches over the past century due to climate change. This sea-level rise, which is accelerating, makes coastal storms more destructive.
- Atmospheric CO2 can be neutralized by trees.
- A single tree can absorb 48 pounds of CO2 annually; they use the carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis.
- One acre of forest can store as much as 100 metric tons of CO2 and absorb the equivalent of CO2 emitted driving a car 26,000 miles.
- Carbon dioxide makes trees healthier and less susceptible to extreme weather.
- The carbon footprints of 18 average Americans can be neutralized by one acre of hardwood trees.
- Temperatures are lowered by transpiring water and shading surfaces, which occurs as trees grow and mature.
- Ten room-size air conditioners operating twenty hours per day are replaced by a single tree.
Planting trees remains one of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.