This article reports the benefits, economics, and logistics of tree intercropping, or planting rows of trees amongst other crops, as a method for reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Tree intercropping is presented as an excellent, land-based climate mitigation strategy because it sequesters carbon and can support cropland through erosion prevention, shade, drought reduction, and soil improvement.
This article presents data on the financial and environmental metrics related to different models of tree intercropping.
This article is structured like a scientific paper, describing the methodologies and citing the resources used to project the costs and benefits of tree intercropping
Students may feel hopeful when learning about tree intercropping because it is a simple solution to understand and is already in place in some regions.
This webpage links to other climate solutions, so learners could compare the amount of carbon sequestered with the tree intercropping solution to other solutions that interest them.
Learners should be familiar with carbon sinks and agricultural terms.
Learners with limited experience with scientific papers or economics may need additional support with the technical way the data, resources, and projections are presented.
It may be helpful to explain how and why scientists would calculate projections for different implementation scenarios for this climate solution. Leading a discussion about modeling costs and benefits of different solutions can help students understand how decision makers need information like this for climate action.
Consider having students compare and contrast this solution to other tree-based solutions on the same website, such as tree plantations or tropical rainforest reforestation.
As an extension activity, learners could research benefits related to intercropping and other methods for improving soil fertility.
This analysis provides opportunities for cross-curricular connections to economics and math.
This article discusses a study that examined using tree intercropping to help sequester carbon from the atmosphere and increase the amount of carbon in the soil which has many benefits. In addition, the benefits of having more trees is discussed. The article is organized similar to a scientific paper in the way it breaks down this climate solution into an introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. The limitations of the study are also included. These make this resource a good example of how scientific articles are often structured. Resources are included. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.