Questions and Answers

Our readers are curious to learn more about the following questions; please let us know if you are able to help find or add to the answers.

Q Are global warming and climate change the same thing?

A This helpful answer from CBC’s online news explains how global warming is not the same as, but contributes to, and is part of, the bigger issue of climate change.

The article explains that the umbrella term climate change encompasses a wide set of atmospheric variants such as rising temperatures caused by human activity emitting greenhouse gases, and extreme weather events, among others.

Q Hi. I found your argument compelling. I especially liked the study that estimates 25 years of carbon-based pollution could be erased if the tree-planting target is reached. Also, I understand all too well how and where the CO2 is generated, but I’d like to be refreshed on the biological “magic” that the trees perform on this substance and what it’s converted into. Can you pls refresh the Grade 10 biology I never took (I switched to physics).

A The processes of photosynthesis and respiration are the basis of the carbon cycle. In photosynthesis, plants use energy from the sun and carbon dioxide (CO2) gas from the atmosphere to create carbohydrates (sugars) and oxygen (O2). Carbohydrates are then stored (or sequestered) in their biomass (living parts, such as leaves, stems, and roots) as plants live and grow.

Q Do bushes count? How do they compare to tree workhorses in absorbing carbon?

A According to Tree Canada, bushes are dramatically less effective than trees because of their much smaller size.

Q I would be interested in more detail about carbon offsets in the example that 27 trees can cover a plane trip. Maybe it could be elaborated a bit, i.e., what kind of trees would typically suffice and for how long would they have to grow for them to offset the trip?

A According to Tree Canada, the 27 trees only need to be saplings, and the sequestering of the greenhouse gas is estimated based on 30 years of growing of these saplings. Since they usually live to about 100 the extra years of CO2 offset are a bonus to Mother Earth.

Q What trees are best for carbon capture?

A In part, it depends on location, climate and soils. Also, whether the tree species grows quickly and lives long are important attributes to consider by foresters seeking to maximize the absorption and storage of CO2 (carbon sequestration). Avoiding trees that need high maintenance helps avoid for further carbon emissions generated by, for example, the trucks and chainsaws used in tree maintenance.

At Friends4Trees4Life, we appreciate the clarity and positivity in this excerpted answer from information posted on, “Yes, some trees are better than others when it comes to preventing climate change. Ultimately, however, trees of any shape, size, and genetic origin help absorb CO2. Most scientists agree that the least expensive and perhaps the easiest way for individuals to help offset the CO2 that they generate in their everyday lives is to plant a tree…any tree, as long as it is appropriate for the given region and climate.”