Monday, September 7, 2015

How Many Trees Are There On The Planet?

Last week I was interested in a story I heard on NPR. It began with the question "How many trees are there on the planet?" I started to think about how one would make such an estimation. My guess was 100 billion. Was I close? No. The actual answer is closer to 3 trillion. That's TRILLION, or 3 x 1,000,000,000,000. 

You can hear the story at NPR in the post entitled Tree Counter is Astonished By How Many Trees There Are.

And while this sounds like a huge amount (no, we don't have enough), the researchers found that the Earth has lost nearly half its trees since the start of human civilization. We also know that we are losing 10 Billion trees every year. All of this is pretty disturbing. 

These numbers teach us a lot about habitat loss, how much carbon dioxide is being absorbed from the atmosphere, how water is recycled in an ecosystem, and how we can preserve and replenish our forests. Take a minute to learn more in this video.
You can read more about the study that produced these data at Live Science in the article Earth Lost Half Its Trees to Humans.

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog! There are so many fun hands on freebie science activities for students which I believe are very beneficial. I also think it's awesome that science related children literature is available as well as educational videos such as this one, "How many trees are there in the world?" I think this specific topic is something that would really fascinate my students. Thanks for sharing this blog!