Global efforts at reforestation are accelerating, gollowing commitments made in the Paris Agreement of November last year.
Volunteers in India smashed a world record by planting 49.3 million tree saplings on July 11. Last year, volunteers in Ecuador planted 647,250 trees from 200 species in one day. In 2014, Men of the Trees planted 100,450 trees in Perth, Australia in a single hour.
Richard Houghton, a senior scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center in the US, though, warns that the impacts may not be as effective as predicted.
“In general, [reforestation] is all good in the sense that trees, as they grow, take carbon out of the atmosphere,” he said. Complications occur when forests shade the snow, absorbing sunlight and adding to warming, or when reforestation is used as a carbon offset for extracting fossil fuels or cutting down old forests.
Climate chaos itself threatens forests with increasing fire damage and attacks by exotic insects moving into forests as the climate warms.