According to a recent assessment, our planet currently has a little over three trillion trees. The previous best estimate suggested that there are around 400 billion trees on Earth, which makes the new assessment almost eight times higher than the previous one.
This new estimate has been presented by Thomas Crowther of Yale University and his colleagues. To present this assessment, they combined satellite pictures with data gathered through several ground surveys. According to the team, right now there are more than 420 trees on this planet for every person.
This finding will be forming the baseline for an array of research applications, which may include studies that take into account plant and animal habitats for various biodiversity reasons as well as new climate models. This is because trees play an extremely significant role in eliminating carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) from our atmosphere.
However, the leader of the team Dr. Crowther has cautioned that this finding itself is not going to change anything. He said that this doesn’t mean that the team has discovered loads of new trees or loads of new carbon and the increase in number of trees cannot be termed as good news or bad news.
Dr. Crowther stated that he and his colleagues have simply tried to describe the global forest system’s current status by putting up some numbers that can be used by scientists and comprehended by common people. The numbers will also make the situation more comprehensible to policymakers and environmental practitioners.
This new estimate is based primarily on ground-truth data. The team under Dr. Crowther gathered tree density info from more than 400,000 forests around the globe. They collected data from a number of national forest inventories and numerous peer-reviewed researches that actually sent workers out to count the number of trunks present in a particular area of land.
This allowed Dr. Crowther and his team to create a new model that characterized the facts presented by satellite pictures in a better way. Here, it must be mentioned that the satellite pictures, although are great tools for describing forest extent, are not that good when it comes to revealing the number of trees present beneath the canopy.