The annual emissions of greenhouse gases from all US vehicles could be absorbed by forests, wetlands and agricultural land, eliminating one fifth of all that pollution, according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances.
In its analysis, the US organization The Nature Conservancy found that the US could reduce 21% greenhouse gas emissions by adjusting 21 practices, such as reforestation of forests or better management of existing croplands.
The increase in reforestation, for example, could be equivalent to eliminating the emissions of 66 million cars, according to the findings.
"Through changes in management, along with the protection and restoration of natural lands, we demonstrate that we can reduce carbon pollution and filter water, improving the habitat of fish and wildlife," the lead author said. study, Joe Fargione.
According to the scientist, nature "offers a simple and economical way to help fight global warming."
"In combination with the transition to carbon-free energy production, natural climate solutions can help protect our climate for future generations," Fargione added.
The study identified in the USA 631,309 square kilometers (km2) that could be reforested, 1,230,244 km2 where rotations of the forest harvest could be extended and at least 169,968 square kilometers that would benefit from fire risk reduction treatments.
The report also found that urban reforestation can add significant carbon storage benefits.
"Planting trees and improving the health of existing forests will be a decisive factor so that we can overcome the climate curve," said Jad Daley, CEO of American Forests, another group involved in the study.