A new study finds that restoring forests by adding 2.2 billion acres of tree cover would capture two-thirds of man-made carbon emissions.

Allowing the earth’s forests to recover could soak up a significant amount of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research.

The worldwide assessment of current and potential forestation using satellite imagery appeared Thursday in the journal Science. It estimates that letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. That’s two-thirds of the roughly 300 billion metric tons of carbon humans have put up there since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

Read the full report from Vox.

Restoring forests like the Amazon rainforest

Restoring forests like the Amazon rainforest has the potential to offset huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images