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Nature Can Save Humanity From Climate Doom—but Not On Its Own

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Nature Can Save Humanity From Climate Doom—but Not On Its Own

Photograph: Constantine Johnny / Getty Images. Article by . Wired – May 25, 2021.

By restoring ecosystems, conservationists can help the land sequester carbon. But it’s still no substitute for drastically cutting emissions.

The biggest hint nature ever gave humanity was when it sequestered fossil fuels underground, locking their carbon away from the atmosphere. Only rarely, like when a massive volcano fires a layer of coal into the sky, does that carbon escape its confines to dramatically warm the planet.

But such catastrophes hint at a powerful weapon for fighting climate change: Let nature do its carbon-sequestering thing. By restoring forests and wetlands, humanity can bolster the natural processes that trap atmospheric carbon in vegetation. As long as it all doesn’t catch on fire (or a volcano doesn’t blow it up), such “nature-based solutions,” as climate scientists call them, can help slow global warming. […]

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