In the fight to slow climate change, nature is a powerful weapon. In fact, natural climate solutions, such as reducing deforestation and changing farming practices, can soak up excess carbon in the atmosphere and prevent certain emissions so effectively that it might be tempting to think they can buy us time while we figure out how to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce.

Not so, says a group of scientists who published a related perspective piece today in the journal Science. They point out that some groups promoting natural solutions fail to adequately emphasize the urgency of moving away from fossil fuels if we are going to meet global climate goals and avoid the worst effects of a warming planet. This can sow confusion and misunderstanding in the ongoing public conversation.

Stanford Report spoke with Earth scientists Christa Anderson and Chris Field, co-authors of the perspective. Anderson, now a research fellow at the World Wildlife Fund, recently completed her PhD in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences.


Is there still time to make a meaningful impact to stabilize the climate and slow temperature increases?

Read more at Stanford University