Learn all about forests and their positive impact on global warming. We?ve built a learning path to take you step-by-step towards helping you understand it! Start here and move on to the next steps!
Protecting forests is a very important part of efforts to stop global warming. Trees have the ability to capture carbon from the air and store it in wood and soil. (That?s what we mean by carbon sequestration.) But, when trees are cut down, they release that carbon (greenhouse gases) back into the atmosphere. In fact, the burning and clearing of tropical forests ? the lungs of the Earth ? contributes approximately 20% of the world?s greenhouse gas emissions and fuels climate change? That?s more than all the world?s cars, trucks, and airplanes combined!
We all know that the loss of forests is irreplaceable. Tropical forests are home to more than half of all species on Earth. When we lose forests, animals lose their habitats. Plants go extinct. And, carbon is released in the air to increase global warming.
Protecting forests and planting new trees is a really important way to reduce climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, stopping deforestation and restoring already degraded areas would help to prevent the emission of more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years.