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Story Publication logo December 12, 2019

These 3 Supertrees Can Protect Us From Climate Collapse

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Amazon rainforest as seen from above. Image by Vox. Brazil, 2019. 
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This is a multimedia feature project for Vox that uses text, photos, and graphics to explain how at...

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If Afrormosia goes extinct, it could threaten the forest’s resilience and stability, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and unleashing more chaotic weather on Africa and the rest of the world. It’s in everyone’s interest to protect these trees. Image by Sarah Waiswa. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2019.
If Afrormosia goes extinct, it could threaten the forest’s resilience and stability, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and unleashing more chaotic weather on Africa and the rest of the world. It’s in everyone’s interest to protect these trees. Image by Sarah Waiswa. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2019.

For the full interactive experience, please visit the Vox website.

Dozens of countries have extraordinary tropical forests, but three stand out: Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries not only have the largest areas of tropical forest within their borders; they also have the highest rates of deforestation.

We traveled to protected areas deep inside these countries to learn the superpowers of three tree species that play an unusually important part in staving off environmental disaster, not just locally but globally. These trees play many ecological roles, but most impressive is how they produce rainfall, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and support hundreds of other species.

If these ecosystems collapse, the climate effects are likely to be irreversible. And so what happens to these forests truly affects all life on Earth.

This is the story of three trees at the center of our climate crisis that provide big benefits to you, me, and the whole world. Meet the trees, get to know their superpowers, and learn how scientists are trying to protect them.

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