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Planet Has More Trees

Planet Has More Trees

The last study showed that the world has about 3 trillion trees.  That is over the estimate of 400 billion in previous studies.  Researchers did a count by actually going out and physically counting trees, using satellite imagery, ground survey, and national forest inventories.  Even though we have lost trees from fires, drought, and insect outbreaks there are still more trees than previously noted.

It has been found that trees are gaining in numbers in the subtropical, temperate and polar regions.  China, Russia, and the United States have had the largest tree growth.  The tropics have lost the most trees due to climate change.  Brazil has lost more trees than Canada, Russia, Argentina, and Paraguay combined.  This study was conducted between 1990 and 2015 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations showing that there has been a loss of about 4.2% of trees.  When they talk of tree cover loss it is not directly translated to deforestation of all trees.  They may cut down about 100 acres of primary forest and replace it with 100 acres of palm plantation that will show up as no loss.  A change in the land cover needs to be calculated with different types of coverage so that a real change can be determined.  This study will help the researchers to be able to tell when there is a change in vegetation.

The Earth may have a rise in tree growth in the last 35 years, it still has a loss of resilience to ecosystem services.  Tropical forests and savannas are significantly being damaged and degraded.