As part of a recent study, researchers have investigated which measures can reduce global warming most efficiently. According to the study, solar panels are more effective than reforestation.
Many countries are currently taking measures to reduce their emissions and combat climate change. Although it seems increasingly unlikely that we will achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, protecting the environment is still on everyone’s lips. But what is the best way to protect our planet?
A research team also asked itself this question. It analyzed whether solar plants or the reforestation of forests should be prioritized. As part of a study, the researchers compared whether mitigation or absorption of greenhouse gases is more beneficial to our environment.
Solar systems reduce global warming after 2.5 years
The expansion of solar energy is therefore ahead. It is true that trees absorb a not insignificant amount of greenhouse gases. But new solar systems reduce dependence on fossil fuels. What seems surprising is that both options increase the average temperature on the planet. This is because both solar panels and forests darken the earth’s surface, resulting in the planet storing additional heat.
The scientists compared two areas for their research. A solar plant in the Arava Valley and a forest in the Negev Desert. They then analyzed when the two types of greenhouse gas reduction had neutralized their contribution to the warming of the planet. The result: solar systems achieved this after around 2.5 years, while the forests took significantly longer.
Forests bring many other benefits
To be more precise, the reforested area needed fifty times longer to offset its impact on global warming. In summary, new and more efficient solar panels can therefore contribute significantly more efficiently to reducing global warming. Nevertheless, the researchers continue to emphasize the important role of forests for our planet.
After all, it may take longer to offset the global warming caused, but forests are also home to important ecosystems and are a refuge for many species. In the long term, therefore, both the expansion of photovoltaic systems and the reforestation of forests make sense for our planet.