Global warming has been a major concern for researchers over the last two decade. It has led to numerous conferences across the globe to determine the best applicable methods of reducing the effect of CO2 accumulation in the environment. While some argue for measures such as monitoring the overall carbon footprint of the small and medium business, others propose tree planting to increase the uptake of CO2 for the environment. However, recent human activities and the need for more agricultural land make tree planting a challenge. Nonetheless, to combat global warming, a number of trees should be cut down at a lower rate to decrease the effect of CO2 emissions.
Firstly, a lower rate of cutting trees increases the amount of forest cover globally, which is essential in controlling the effect of carbon dioxide in global warming. Ideally, trees contribute to a reduction in the greenhouse gases through absorption of CO2 from the environment. Through carbon sequestration, trees are able to capture and store carbon dioxide for long periods, which significantly lowers global temperatures. Moreover, lower rates of cutting down trees allow them to counter the effect of CO2 on the environment through the cooling effect of their leaves (Curley). Therefore, if people cannot afford to sustain tree planting in their bid to reduce the amount of CO2, they should aim for reducing deforestation rate.
Secondly, cutting down trees at a lower rate reduces the speed at which they directly decompose and release carbon to the environment. Scientifically, Scheer and Moss argue that an increase in the rate of deforestation contributes up to 15 percent of the greenhouse gas effect to the globe. They argue that cutting down trees at a faster rate allow them to release the stored carbon directly to the environment which adds to the amount of greenhouse gas. In essence, cutting down trees at a faster rate only accelerates the pace of releasing the carbon dioxide previously absorbed to the environment (Plumer).
Although conventional wisdom traditionally supports the reduction of deforestation and increase in the rate of planting trees as one of the primary ways of reducing the carbon dioxide effect on the atmosphere, scientists have recently demonstrated a contradiction. In particular, researchers from the Carnegie Institute of Science argue that increase in trees in certain regions of the globe can contribute to global warming through carbon dioxide. Essentially, in typical tropical belt regions, forests act according to conventional wisdom, they absorb the amount of CO2 from the environment through a process called carbon sequestering (Unger). The absorption helps reduce the global temperature. However, other forests that further form the tropic respond differently. They trap carbon dioxide in their dense canopies, which incidentally results in a rise in global temperature. For instance, the presence or increase in forests in the mid-to-high latitudes could contribute to a 5.50C over the next 100 years compared to if they were absent (Anthony and Abdullahi 6806). Thus, cutting down trees at a slower rate in mid-to-high latitudes would only facilitate a faster rate of global warming through CO2 entrapment.
In conclusion, although people might not readily adopt measures that advocate for an increase the rate of tree planting to reduce the effect of CO2 accumulation, they are more likely to consider the logic of reducing the rate of cutting them down. Scientifically, a reduction in the rate of deforestation allows for the growth of forest cover, which is essential because carbon sequestration helps reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Deforestation also reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere through decay of cut down trees. However, it is noteworthy that more forest cover in mid-high-tropic increase CO2 concentration in the environment.
- Anthony, Peter, and Tanko Mohammed Abdullahi. “Planting Trees and Carbondioxide (CO2) Emission: It’s Effects on Climate Change.” International Journal of Scientific Research And Education, vol. 5, no. 08, Aug. 2017, pp. 6804–6809.
- Curley, Jeri. “How Does Deforestation Affect the Air?” Sciencing, 25 Apr. 2017.
- Plumer, Brad. “A Cheap Fix for Climate Change? Pay People Not to Chop Down Trees.” The New York Times, 20 July 2017. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/climate/a-cheap-fix-for-climate-change-pay-people-not-to-chop-down-trees-uganda.html.
- Scheer, Roddy, and Doug Moss. “Deforestation and Its Extreme Effect on Global Warming.” Scientific American, 2012, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/deforestation-and-global-warming/.
- Unger, Nadine. “To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees.” The New York Times, 19 Sept. 2014. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/opinion/to-save-the-planet-dont-plant-trees.html.