Nature – Hasler et al. (2024): Accounting for albedo change to identify climate-positive tree cover restoration

Natalia Hasler, Christopher A. Williams, Vanessa Carrasco Denney, Peter W. Ellis, Surendra Shrestha, Drew E. Terasaki Hart, Nicholas H. Wolff, Samantha Yeo, Thomas W. Crowther, Leland K. Werden & Susan C. Cook-Patton IN: Nature Communications, 15,

Restoring tree cover changes albedo, which is the fraction of sunlight reflected from the Earth’s surface. In most locations, these changes in albedo offset or even negate the carbon removal benefits with the latter leading to global warming. Previous efforts to quantify the global climate mitigation benefit of restoring tree cover have not accounted robustly for albedo given a lack of spatially explicit data. Here the authors produce maps that show that carbon-only estimates may be up to 81% too high.