How long ago since the first time you learn about climate change, or especially human-induced climate change? It feels like this problem has been haunting us forever, even though in human natural history this is just ‘a moment ago’.
Researchers have spent a lot of time to find the solution for it but our current technology can only give a band-aid to the wound. Many of us are also still hoping for a breakthrough invention that may change the whole world and let us live in a better place without worrying about climate change.
Lesser we know, the solution already exist. Want to know the number one solution to our climate problem? Well, we are going to talk about it in this article indeed.
Doing It Naturally is Still the Best Way for the Climate
Here is the solution: restore the forest. Yes, restoring forests is a powerful way to fight climate change. Not only that, it is also proven as the most effective way for human to take responsibility for their past actions regarding carbon emission and climate change.
There are many reasons, but firstly forests act as natural “carbon sinks” by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it in trees, plants, and soil. By restoring forests, we can capture more carbon and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In addition to that, restoring forests helps protect biodiversity. When forests are healthy and diverse, they can better withstand the impacts of climate change. They provide homes for many different plant and animal species and support the overall health of the environment.
Deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change because it releases stored carbon back into the atmosphere. Restoring forests in areas that have been deforested allows us to reverse this process and remove carbon dioxide from the air.
Forest restoration works well with other strategies to fight climate change. For example, we can combine reforestation with renewable energy projects or sustainable farming practices to have even greater positive effects on the environment.
Restoring forests not only benefits the planet but also communities. It creates jobs, supports local economies, and provides important services like clean air and water.
Cheapest Yet Better
Prof Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich led research to calculate the impact of tree restoration toward climate change. From the study, he found an astounding discovery that he expected but not anticipated.
“This new quantitative evaluation shows restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one. What blows my mind is the scale. I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed,” he said.
He said that this is a climate solution that doesn’t require “scientists to come up with technological solutions to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. It is available now; it is the cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved.”
It proved that the most ancient solution to climate change is actually the one that works the best. Unfortunately, many people still think that the solution for climate change needs to be big, sophisticated, expensive, and futuristic.
Wild Forest Even Better for the Climate
But while restoring forest is the most effective effort we can do, letting alone wild forest is the even better path. Wild forests are better than new plantations for several reasons, such as having natural biodiversity which is good for the environment.
Don’t you know that wild forests are also better at absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, acting like sponges for greenhouse gases thanks to ancient trees growing for decades. On the other hand, plantations usually have only one type of tree, with relatively smaller size, and can’t store as much carbon.
Wild forests also help regulate water by keeping groundwater levels stable and preventing soil erosion. They also reduce the risk of floods and droughts all thanks to their roots penetrating deep and anchored into the soil that can soak up water much better.
Have we also mentioned that they are more resistant to pests and diseases because of the way different species interact with each other. Newer plantations, especially those with just one type of tree, are more vulnerable to outbreaks and may need lots of pesticides.
While plantations can be useful for things like getting timber or renewable resources, it’s important to protect wild forests because they have many benefits. Like it is obvious to keep the current working system than renewing it every year with a little bit of a gamble, isn’t it?
We Are Going to The Wrong Direction
Unfortunately, we’re going in the wrong direction when it comes to forests and the environment. Cutting down trees, known as deforestation, is a big problem. People have cut down almost half of all trees in history because they need wood, land for farming, and minerals.
Losing forested areas is a big issue even though it is going to be reforested again. Like mentioned above, wild and good old forest already standing is a working system and it works very well already. Our disruption would bring the changes unnecessary and very risky.
In addition to that, even though we are not cutting down all the trees in the forests, Illegal activities, like mining, make things even worse. In places like the Amazon rainforest, people are mining illegally, which eventually destroys huge areas of forest.
This makes the problem even bigger and puts more pressure on the remaining forests. It’s important to stop these illegal activities and protect our forests from more harm. This is another problem we have to deal with while we are already dealing with the pollution, we cause by releasing too much carbon dioxide into the air.
Those things make the planet hotter and causes many problems. While some forests benefit from more carbon dioxide, others can potentially suffer. The suffering is thanks to correlation of high carbon level to the climate change.
The changing climate can affect some kind of forests and make it dry out, making wildfires more likely. It also messes up rainfall, which makes it hard for trees to survive droughts or attacks from bugs.