Yale News' Kevin Dennehy takes a look at the results of a recent Yale University-led study which revealed that there were 3.04 trillion trees on earth, about seven and a half more than originally thought. More surprising, the total number of trees has plummeted 46% since the beginning of human civilization.
The team for this study was able to calculate the number of trees through satellite imagery, forest inventories, and supercomputer technologies. The study helped to highlight that humans are the biggest drivers of tree populations:
"While the negative impact of human activity on natural ecosystems is clearly visible in small areas, the study provides a new measure of the scale of anthropogenic effects, highlighting how historical land use decisions have shaped natural ecosystems on a global scale. In short, tree densities usually plummet as the human population increases."
Fourteen researchers across the Yale community contributed to the project--this video highlights more key findings:
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