There are a couple of creative ways to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere that scientists are working on, but the simplest way is all-natural and all around us: trees! Plants need carbon dioxide the same way we need oxygen, and just like how we release carbon dioxide when we breathe out, trees release oxygen when they make food. Without even knowing it, you’ve been helping trees your whole life, and they’ve been helping you!
There’s so much carbon dioxide in the air that it’s really unlikely that we could plant enough trees to take out all of the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s why it’s important that we help protect existing forests. There are also certain kinds of trees that are better than others at taking carbon dioxide out of the air. Trees that grow quickly, have dense wood, and live for a long time are best at storing CO2.
And there are some parts of the world where trees are more effective at taking CO2 out of the air. For instance, the Amazon rain forest is in a part of the world where trees are more imporant for capturing carbon than others*. It’s also one of the places where we’re cutting down the most trees! So planting a tree in your backyard is helpful, and will be helpful for a long time, but planting a tree in a rainforest is even more helpful.