BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

There are three tril­lion trees in the world. The tim­ber industry cur­rently cuts down 15 bil­lion a year, so at cur­rent rates it would take at least 200 years to fell them all – prob­a­bly much longer be­cause a lot of vir­gin for­est is hard to reach. If you gave ev­ery­one aged 15 to 65 a chain­saw, they would have to

cut down 625 trees each, which might be man­age­able in a year. But col­lect­ing and pro­cess­ing that tim­ber would take much longer and 99 per cent of the trees would just lie on the for­est floor, rot­ting and re­leas­ing

35 bil­lion tonnes of CO2. Eighty per cent of land an­i­mals and plants live in forests and with­out the trees most of them will die. Trees also keep the ground wet and cool, and help to drive the wa­ter cy­cle. A large tree can push 150 tonnes of wa­ter into the at­mos­phere each year, which then falls back on the for­est as rain. With no trees, the land will heat up and dry out and the dead wood will in­evitably re­sult in enor­mous wild­fires. This will fill the sky with soot that blocks out the Sun, caus­ing failed har­vests for sev­eral years and

lead­ing to world­wide famine.

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