Trees are one of the most important living things on our Earth and we as humans are destroying them. They provide shade, habitats, homes, resources and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Humanity has been very good at trashing our planet and leaving areas devastated in our trails. From plastic pollution in our oceans to cutting down whole forest for our benefit, our impact we are creating is pushing climate change and changing the world in a negative manner.
Recently, Nature released a new study that highlights the negative impact humanity has had on the world. The study, which was conducted by a team led by the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna, claims that humanity is responsible for cutting the amount of plant biomass stocks on Earth in half.
The study discussed that the planet’s vegetation currently store 450 petagrams of carbon, equivalent to almost 0.5 trillion tons. That amount of carbon is over 12 times the total carbon footprint of humanity in 2017 according to the Global Carbon Atlas. The research team suggest that if humanity had not interfered with any plant vegetation on Earth, there would be 916 petagrams or 1 trillion tons of carbon trapped in plants.
Obviously, the idea of leaving all vegetation unharmed throughout humanity is impossible but it still shows the immense impact humanity has had on our Earth. By cutting one of the biggest carbon sinks on our planet by half, we are taking away a key player in climate regulation on our planet.
The ocean is known to be the largest storage area for carbon with plants and trees coming in behind it. Without the planet’s vegetation, the world would be far warmer and we are starting to see that take affect today.
The study found that most of the removal of plants and vegetation come from deforestation and plant removal for urbanization and farming.
At this point, climate change is already happening and there is no way to reverse it. What we can do is to try and slow the progress. Through conservation and reforestation, we can help rebuild our carbon sinks to help slow that process. Thankfully, millions of people have taken it into their hands to plant trees and build green urban area but the way we use our land needs to change altogether.