New study finds more trees than suspected on Earth, but disappearing at a frightening rate.

September 3, 2015

A team of scientists has determined that there are trillions of trees on planet Earth – not billions, as was previously thought. The new estimate of 3,040,000,000,000 trees, which is nearly eight times higher than earlier estimates, was made in a multidisciplinary study combining analysis of satellite imagery with counts made by thousands of volunteers working in forests around the world. The team was led by YCEI post-doctoral fellow Thomas Crowther while working during the last two years at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The paper appears in the latest online issue of the journal Nature, along with an accompanying news article and video on the journal’s website.

The main project was funded by grants to Crowther from Yale Climate & Energy Institute, as part of its post-doctoral fellow program, and from the British Ecological Society. “This work would not have been possible without the support from Yale Climate & Energy Institute,” said Crowther. “As well as encouraging a stimulating working group, they provided much of the funding that made this work possible.”