NASA Reports that the Earth is Greener Now than 20 Years Ago Thanks to Reforestation Efforts
With all of the discouraging news about global deforestation and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, it’s good to know that people in many parts of the world are having great success at re-foresting planet earth.
In Bhutan, for example, when the nation was celebrating the birth of a new prince in 2016, people came together to plant 108,000 trees, which will become a new forest within a couple of decades. Ecuador set a world record in 2017 for planting a whopping 647,250 trees in a single day. Also in 2017, more than 1.5 million volunteers came together to plant 66 million trees in just 12 hours, setting another world record.
Now, NASA is reporting that in the findings of a 20 year study of the earth, there are actually more trees today than there were two decades ago, thanks in large part to the efforts of countries and communities in India and China.
The findings are the result of 20 years of data collection from NASA instruments onboard two satellites orbiting earth.
“Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.” [NASA]
A more detailed explanation from the study:
“Satellite data show increasing leaf area of vegetation due to direct factors (human land-use management) and indirect factors (such as climate change, CO2 fertilization, nitrogen deposition and recovery from natural disturbances). Among these, climate change and CO2fertilization effects seem to be the dominant drivers. However, recent satellite data (2000–2017) reveal a greening pattern that is strikingly prominent in China and India and overlaps with croplands world-wide. China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6% of global vegetated area. The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%), but in India is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%). “[Source]
Furthermore, the news serves as a positive counter to the trend of pollution and environmental degradation we see today in Asia:
“China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation – a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation.” ~Chi Chen, Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University and lead author of the study
The satellites have recorded photos of the earth every day for 20 years, creating a massive data set that is allowing researchers and biologists to better understand how to preserve the world’s forests.
“This long-term data lets us dig deeper,” said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a co-author of the new work. “When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to more leaf growth in northern forests, for instance. Now, with the MODIS data that lets us understand the phenomenon at really small scales, we see that humans are also contributing.”
The message is clear: if we come together we can easily remedy the ecological problems we have created here on earth. Let this good news serve as inspiration to participate in the re-greening of earth. It also demonstrates how humans can address serious problems once they become aware of what’s really going on.
“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb
Read more articles by Vic Bishop.
About the Author
Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.
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