TROPICAL TREE PLANTING TO REDUCE ATMOSPHERIC CARBON
SGG has noticed that farming communities in East Africa are increasingly concerned about climate change and its damaging effects on their farm production. Thus, we encourage farmers to modify their traditional farming methods so that they are better adapted to climate change by practising agroforestry, micro- irrigation, horticultural techniques etc. We now intend to also start a pilot project where the planting of 10,000 trees is undertaken primarily to absorb carbon from the atmosphere and thereby lessen the main cause of climate change. We are offering a 'carbon mitigation' service whereby we will arrange for African farmers to plant trees on your behalf. The advantage of this is that you can reduce your carbon footprint while African farmers gain the various environmental & economic benefits of trees planted on their land. In addition we all benefit from reduced carbon in the atmosphere and less extreme climate change.
It is difficult to accurately measure the impact of individual tree growth on global reduction of atmospheric carbon, so we will use an average figure to calculate how many trees need to be planted to 'offset' an individuals carbon footprint. What we do know is that growing trees absorb carbon and will make a difference to Earth's climate. SGG also wishes to emphasise that this carbon offsetting is not a licence to continue pouring carbon into the atmosphere, so we would encourage everyone to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint e.g. reduced car use, reduced gas use, green electricity etc.
Evidence for Climate Change
av. global temperature risen 0.9 C since 1880, mainly in last 35 yrs
carbon ppm 413 by 2010, but never above 300 before 1950. Typical value over Pleistocene period c 230 ppm.
global ocean temperature rise 0.2 C but significant variations, so coral bleaching + Atlantic storms
shrinking ice sheets and global rise in sea level 20 cms since 1900
The two pictures below, both taken by Paul Keeley of Sustainable Global Gardens, show clear evidence of climate change.
This is Mt Kilimanjaro in 1973 showing the glacier cover on its summit. Melt water from this on an annual cycle has traditionally provided irrigation to fields on the lower slopes which allowed farmers to harvest 2-3 crops per year. These glaciers were formed during the Ice Age and once gone will not re-freeze.
Here is Mt Kilimanjaro in 2012 showing the vestiges of the glaciers. Reduced meltwater is having an impact on food production. Planting trees will not put the glaciers back but will give a more controlled local water cycle to return water from the ground to the atmosphere. There is already some evidence of water returning to dried up streams where trees have been planted along the banks.
Evidence for the role of trees in atmospheric carbon reduction
The key processes to actively reduce atmospheric carbon and store it safely for several decades are photosynthesis and tree growth. The Crowther Lab [www.crowtherlab.com, or browse https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/04/planting-billions-trees-best-tackle-climate-crisis-scientists-canopy-emissions ] have established that that extensive tree-planting is by far the cheapest way to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. They claim that there are approximately 3 trillion trees on the planet and sufficient space to plant an additional trillion. If this were done it would largely solve the current climate change crisis – provided the use of fossil fuels, which are continually adding more carbon to the atmosphere, were also reduced.