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Background: Environmental issues have gained widespread attention from all around the world and most of them originate from the root cause of climate change. Climate change occurs when there is increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the environment, reflecting less heat back to space. In view of extreme weather and consequences, afforestation is now seen as one of the most effective methods in mitigating the effects of climate change. Increasing popularity of using forests as mitigation methods, however, does not translate to forests being effective solutions in all situations. Being part of our ecosystem, processes of forests are easily altered by climate change itself.
Aims: To ascertain if afforestation can effectively mitigate the effects of climate change in consideration that the processes of trees are affected by climate change itself.
Study Design: Literature review.
Methods: Data sources include Nature, Science Direct and environmental journals.
Results: Climate change currently increases the ability of forests to mitigate climate change but long-term exposure to increased temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels reduce their abilities to do so. Location of where afforestation is carried out also affects the extent of effectiveness in reducing CO2 levels and climate change.
Conclusion: Afforestation can mitigate climate change if implemented appropriately, especially where it is effective. However, the primary solution will still be cutting carbon emissions since trees have a biological limit in response to climate change.
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