Diamonds might be forever, but they’re no longer the hardest form of carbon on the planet. Sorry, diamonds.
There’s a mystery inside trees upon which the fate of coastal cities, threatened by rising sea levels from climate change, may depend. Each year, the Earth’s forests take up about one-quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans, effectively slowing the speed and severity of global warming. They lock up most of this carbon in their stems and keep it there for centuries. This service that they provide to humanity is worth about US$1 trillion each year.