Forest Cover Could Drop to 22% of Land Mass Over Next Two Centuries

15 October 2013

Over the next two centuries, forests will shrink until they cover just 22% of the world’s surface, scientists predict.

Forests have been in serious decline worldwide since 1990, having lost over 70 million hectares over the last two decades – a land mass greater than France, or 0.5% of global land area – due to agricultural land expanding to feed a growing population.

It is a trend that is set to continue, write the researchers in an article published in this week’s PLOS ONE journal, with coverage projected to drop by another 8% from current levels, before stabilising at 22% of the world’s land mass.

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