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Photo by Arnaud Mesureur | Unsplash
Hosts: Tamar Haspel & Mike Grunwald
Category: 🔬 Research | Trees

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[9:14] TH: "About half of the dry matter in trees is carbon. [...] An average sized tree will sequester about 50 pounds of carbon per year."

[9:50] MG: "Forests around the world [...] already soak up like a quarter of the carbon dioxide we emit. It's called the terrestrial carbon sink."

[13:17] MG: "The world has lost more than a third of its forest. Just about all of it since the invention of agriculture 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. If you look at the world's habitable land, about half of it is agriculture. And only about 37% of it now is forest."

[16:07] MG: "The Amazon, which is this incredible carbon sink, is on the verge of turning into a carbon source. [...] In California, we've seen these horrible wildfires, where they're actually putting more carbon into the atmosphere than a million solar roofs in California are saving. [...] And also because of climate change, you have these pest infestations, where they're moving to areas that used to be too cold for them, and they're killing trees that way. So that's putting a lot more terrestrial carbon into the air, which makes climate change worse, which makes wildfires worse."

[21:17] TH: "[In the chart that] shows the climate footprint of all different crops, at the very bottom [...] it has tree nuts. And they actually have a [...] good impact. [...] If you plant an orchard of trees, you're not just producing food, you're also sequestering the carbon in those trees."

[22:05] TH: "50% of our habitable land is agriculture and we have a growing population to feed, so obviously getting the most calories from those acres is key. [...] And trees kill it. They're awesome for it. [...] Corn comes in at like 15 million calories per acre. [...] Soy [...] is about 6 million, but then it goes down from there. [...] Wheat is 4 million, most dry beans and legumes are in the 2 million to 3 million category, and vegetables are 2 million or 1.5 million. [...] Apples are like 5 million, oranges are 5 million, avocados are [...] 6 million. [...] Bananas [...] are 8 million calories per acre. [...] Tree nuts are in that same category. Trees grow a lot of food."

Rating: 🍏🍏🍏

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🗓️ 10/18/2022
✅ Time saved: 49 min