Could One Trillion More Trees Stop Global Warming?

sapling tree

The latest panacea to stop global warming is to plant trees, lots of trees. An Associated Press story by Seth Borenstein, printed on the front page of the July 5, 2019, Arizona Daily Star suggests that one trillion new trees will do the job. As an aside, I regard Borenstein as a propagandist rather than a journalist, in part, because he often refers to carbon dioxide emissions as “carbon pollution” even though carbon dioxide is necessary for life on earth. [See: Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth]

The story is based upon a press release from EurekAlert! which summarizes research from The Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich. The researchers estimate that planting enough trees, an amount equivalent to covering the entire United States, would suck up “two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity since the Industrial Revolution.” “The researchers calculated that under the current climate conditions, Earth’s land could support 4.4 billion hectares of continuous tree cover. That is 1.6 billion more than the currently existing 2.8 billion hectares.” “The study also shows which parts of the world are most suited to forest restoration. The greatest potential can be found in just six countries: Russia (151 million hectares); the US (103 million hectares); Canada (78.4 million hectares); Australia (58 million hectares); Brazil (49.7 million hectares); and China (40.2 million hectares).”

I have some questions/reservations about this unnecessary scheme:

  1. How much water will be needed to grow one trillion trees, and where will the water come from?
  1. Will not large areas of forest decrease the albedo of the planet, i.e., increase the amount of sunlight absorbed rather than reflected, and thereby heat the surface?
  1. Through the process of evapotranspiration, trees add water vapor to the air. Water vapor is a much stronger green-house gas than carbon dioxide. Could this itself cause more warming?

These questions are not addressed in the research.

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

If you like murder mysteries, type the name Lonni Lees into Amazon or Barnes & Noble sites to see her novels, a book of short stories, and reviews. For synopses and more reviews of her books click here.

The Broken Greenhouse – why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

Note to readers:

Visit my blog at:

Index with links to all my ADI articles:

My comprehensive 30-page essay on climate change:

A shorter ADI version is at


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  1. “Could One Trillion More Trees Stop Global Warming?”:Isn’t that about like asking Icelandic snow gnomes to stop unicorns from eating natural black roses?

  2. Apparently, these people are only capable of very
    superficial thought. Unable or unwilling to
    consider all the ramifications/ requirements
    for their proposals/ theories.

    But then again, they promulgate “man-made
    Global Warming” based on computer models that
    simply don’t account for lots of the parameters
    that exist on this planet.

    We know with 100% certainty that scientists are

    In the early 1970’s the “consensus was that we were
    entering a cool down period, perhaps a little Ice Age.
    Move forward a blink in time, and the alleged consensus
    says record heating. Sorry campers; these “consensus”
    are in fact mutually exclusive.

  3. Same old story promoted by the left that I learned in college50 years ago. They just recycle their forms of control. Thanks for the continuous well written and common sense articles you write.

  4. Thanks Jonathan..another interesting article. Saw a bobcat, black racer, and loads of baby quail this morning. Another summer critter story would be appreciated.

  5. The yellow orb in the sky controls 99.99 percent of our climate. The earth is overdue for an ice age which will take care of global warming.

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