Carbon Dioxide and Trees

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Topics: Carbon dioxide
Planting a tree has long been a suggestion to better the earth, possibly even preceding the outcry and warning of global warming, water crisis, etc. It was always one of those quaint ideas opted for to mark a special occasion, or to simply make one’s landscape a little prettier. Now days, with the new focus clearly pointing to the desperate need for action against the ongoing destruction of our natural resources, it is more common to hear the simple comment that part of what you can actually do to help is to plant a tree. It seems like such a simple and menial task. But the truth is; every tree makes a difference.
One of the great functions each tree offers, besides its aesthetic addition, is the sequestering of CO2, carbon dioxide. To elaborate this importance, it is fair to paint the big picture. Heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere due to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat trapping gases which ultimately prohibit the heat from being released into space. This is what has caused the virulent phenomenon call “Greenhouse Effect.” Trees naturally remove CO2 from the atmosphere during the state of photosynthesis and use the gas to form carbohydrates utilized in the plant’s structure/function, and in turn releases the pertinent gas, Oxygen (O2) as a byproduct. It is considered that trees act as what some call a Carbon Sink, storing the gas in its branches, trunk, leaves etc. instead of leaving the gas to become free floating and further polluting the atmosphere. In this natural function alone, trees directly reduce the growth of the Greenhouse Effect and counteract Global Warming.
Furthermore, trees offer shade in the summer and act as windbreakers during cooler seasons. This inadvertently reduces the greenhouse effects by eliminating, or at least minimizing, the need for air conditioners and heaters; respectively reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned as energy.
Studies show that a single tree can soak up as much as 48 pounds of

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