Swedish scientists are studying how coniferous trees could help counteract the effects of global warming and limit the rise in temperatures expected for the coming decades.
There are many experiments that are currently taking place to find solutions that mitigate, slow or mitigate the catastrophic environmental consequences of climate change, a global debacle whose deadline for not being totally irreversible has been set by the scientific community in 2030. Currently, new methods are developed to generate rain and alleviate drought, algorithms to control crops or predict natural disasters, and numerous projects to improve and reduce the cost of storage of clean energy such as solar or wind.
To contain the rise in temperatures caused by global warming – whose consequences range from the massive extinction of species to the rise in sea level, the melting of glaciers or the desertification of the earth – Swedish scientists from the University of Lund are studying how spruce forests can hold the key against climate change. The key lies in the terpenes, organic compounds that abound in the resin of conifers, responsible for giving that characteristic aroma to firs, firs and pines.
When released into the atmosphere, these tiny particles interact with moisture to help form clouds that reflect sunlight away from the planet’s surface. The location of the forests is relevant:
“It depends on where the forest grows and what type of forest it is. In the southern parts of the world, trees are better at countering global warming than in the north, “Adam Kristensson, one of the scientists responsible for the study, told Reuters.
Forests cover almost 70% of Sweden and play a unique role in the influence of climate. Trees absorb harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and emit reactive gases that form secondary organic aerosol particles (SOA). It is the abundance of these particles in the air that help to form the clouds that block sunlight.
Commercially managed conifers, which are widespread in the Nordic countries, produce a high concentration of SOA compared to many other types of trees. The Swedish research seeks to answer the question of whether planting more forests could have a cooling effect on the global climate temperature, something urgent if we take into account that the Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum 2019 classifies the failure to mitigate the change climate as the second greatest danger facing the world this year.