CO2 is (almost) forever

If we could stop the CO2 emissions tomorrow, it would take 100 years to eliminate 50% of the surplus of CO2 already in the atmosphere. After a millennium, there would be about 20% left, and after 10,000 years, there would still be 10% – which would be there almost forever.

Even if we could stop the CO2 emissions tomorrow, the climate would still evolve for the years to come because CO2 is very stable in the atmosphere. We do not have any technology (at scale) that can remove the CO2 surplus from the atmosphere.

That is why continuing to burn fossil fuels while assuming that these emissions are being offset by planting trees is counterproductive. The challenge is to both reduce fossil fuel emissions sharply and rapidly and, by planting forests, return to the land the CO2 emitted after deforestation

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