Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) trap
the sun's heat and keep the Earth warm. When GHGs in the atmosphere (mainly carbon dioxide), increase to levels that upset the natural equilibrium, the atmosphere absorbs and holds more heat. The resultant rise in the Earth's temperatures causes extreme weather conditions directly affecting economies, biosecurity and health.
By century's end, global temperatures will rise an additional 3-10F (1.6-5.5C). There has been an increase of 35-60% in CO2 emissions over the last 150 years.
The main reasons are:
- The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas)
- The conversion of forestlands to other uses
(80% of the original forest cover on Earth has been cleared, fragmented or degraded)
Although the biggest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions are travel and electricity, almost all human actions have a direct or indirect impact - food, clothing, cars, airplanes, public transport, heating, etc.
Cutting down forests is contributing almost 20% of the greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere.
India contributes 5% to global CO2 emissions.
Tree planting is an important element in the solution to tackle climate change - Trees absorb carbon dioxide and are vital carbon sinks. The world's forests store an estimated 300 billion tons of carbon, the equivalent of 40 times the world's annual greenhouse gas emissions (source: Time,Nov,'09). It is also a relatively quicker and cheaper option of reducing emissions than alternatives like switching to low carbon forms of power generation or weaning the world's vehicle fleet off fossil fuels.
With heightened public awareness of global climate change, individuals and companies are determined to be part of the solution. Offsetting your carbon footprint by planting trees is an effective direct method to contribute toward reversing climate change.