Global Warming and Climate Change are actually very easy to stop

There is a simple solution to fix Climate Change or Global Warming, plant more trees. There is a lot of talk about Climate Change and Global Warming in today’s world. Simply by breaking it down to it’s most basic component, all this talk is mainly about Carbon Dioxide, CO2 levels. Most of have seen the CO2 chart.

250-350ppm Normal background concentration in outdoor ambient air
350-1,000ppm Concentrations typical of occupied indoor spaces with good air exchange
1,000-2,000ppm Complaints of drowsiness and poor air.
2,000-5,000 ppm Headaches, sleepiness and stagnant, stale, stuffy air. Poor concentration, loss of attention, increased heart rate and slight nausea may also be present.
5,000 Workplace exposure limit (as 8-hour TWA) in most jurisdictions.
>40,000 ppm Exposure may lead to serious oxygen deprivation resulting in permanent brain damage, coma, even death.

As you can see we are approaching levels near 400 parts per million. If we continue our path this could have grave consequences for our brain function (us humans don’t need any more problems there).

We have all the other factors down. Such as the climate speech in Europe this week were the main focus was we are eating too many steaks. In turn Methane isn’t as much of a problem as CO2. Methane has a half life in the atmosphere of only 4 years. Comparatively the half life of CO2 is 27 years. Meaning we can reverse the problem fairly quickly. Other gases such as CFC’s have been under tight regulation. That was the first step, now we must move onto the second step.

All we have to do to combat Climate Change right now is start planting trees. And a lot of them. Trees convert CO2 to breathable oxygen and store the carbon in their trunks. To save you time with the math I will give you a quick formula. How many trees would we need to plant to stop global warming? 1,554,723,200,000, or 1.5 Trillion additional trees.

In 2010 anthropological emissions (not including land use change) were approximately 9167 million metric tonnes. 13 lbs is 5.896 kg, so you need 169.6 trees per metric tonne of emissions. Therefore to take up all of the emissions from 2010 you would need 1,554,723,200,000. A mature forest has only about 100 trees per acre, so you would need 15,547,232,000 acres of mature forest. An acre is 4046 square meters or 0.00404686 square km, so this equates to an area of 62,917,471 square miles. The surface area of the land on the planet is 148,940,000 km2, so we could in principle solve the global warming problem by covering a bit of 42% of the Earths landmass with forests.

So the truth behind climate change comes out. We would need an additional 1.5 trillion trees to combat our production of CO2. All living things release CO2 and our cars are main factor to CO2. The car companies have the technology to make 50 miles per gallon mandatory in cars but will not do it. That could cut the trees in half and we would only need 750 billion trees. With the greatest minds on the planet we have multiple technologies in chemistry that can convert CO2 to Oxygen and we could easily find a way to reduce methane emissions. We could incorporate large CO2 sinks, or large CO2 plants.

Solution

With the effort of every man, woman and child we could all plant 100 trees in our lifetime and reach our goal of 1.5 Trillion trees. If we are realistic about this we can also curb car CO2 emissions (again we aren’t relying on the car companies to do the right thing). We should also implement CO2 sinks and technology to capture the excess in the atmosphere. Some artificial trees can actually capture Carbon Dioxide more efficiently and quicker than real trees themselves. Multiple studies have shown living around real trees leads to a healthier life on many levels.

Here is some more math I did earlier in life. Kind of hard to put together but this only puts it at 17.4 mature trees per person.

2.3 avg lbs of co2 released by humans * 365 days

839.5 lbs of co2 released per person * 7000000000 7 billion people

5876500000000 co2 released per year by humans 20%

18 pounds of co2 are released per 1 gallon of gas

85000000 barrels per day * 42 gallons in a barrel

3570000000 gallons per day * 365 days in a year

1303050000000 gallons per year are burned * 18 pounds released per gallon

23454900000000 lbs of co2 released by burning gasoline 80%

29331400000000 total lbs of co2 released by people breathing and burning gasoline

one tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year when the tree is mature at 40 years old

17.4 mature trees per person