According to a study by Yale University scientist Thomas Crowther, the total number of trees worldwide is much bigger than earlier studies suggested, but every year the number decreases. Three thousand billion – three trillion, 3 followed by twelve zeroes – is the estimate Crowther published, almost ten times as much as earlier estimates (400 billion). Trees are of the utmost importance for a worldwide healthy climate, if only because they neutralize carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Although that seems good news, Crowther warns that ‘it is not as if suddenly we found a whole lot of new trees. We only describe the state of the woods of the world’. And while every year five billion trees are planted by man, 15 billion are felled so the future for a green, healthy world is not altogether rosy.
Most trees are to be found in the tropics and sub-tropics, but the largest number of trees per square kilometer grow on the Faroer Islands: 73.601. Generally speaking, Scandinavian countries are in the lead, as far as trees are concerned. And Vatican City must find its clean air elsewhere since, according tot his study, it does not have any trees at all.