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Andrea Germanos – Humankind Has Halved the Number of Trees on the Planet

The good news: there are over 3 trillion trees covering the Earth—that’s far higher than the 4 billion estimated just two years ago, a team of international researchers has found.

But here’s the bad news: there were far more trees—46 percent more—before human civilization got hold, with an estimated 15 billion trees being lost own each year, with just 5 billion replanted.

“Trees are among the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth, yet we are only recently beginning to comprehend their global extent and distribution,” said Thomas Crowther, a Yale Climate & Energy Institute post-doctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and lead author of the study, in a press statement.

The statement also described the findings as “the most comprehensive assessment of tree populations ever produced,” and the researchers say that, as forests function as carbon sinks, their new map provides important information for climate change models.

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