NASA: China is making planet greener

15/02/2019

NASA Satellite images credit China with one-fourth of world’s new greening

 

According to latest satellite data by NASA, China contributed to a quarter of the world’s human-caused greening observed between 2000 to 2017, ranking it first in the world.

US based space agency has shown how the area of global greening expanded by 5 percent between 2000 and 2017, of which China over one-third, nevertheless the have only 4 percent of the planet’s vegetated land,  show results researchers published Feb. 11 in Nature Sustainability magazine, which is published by UK-based Springer Nature.

 

The Earth is facing a climate crisis, but it’s also getting greener and leafier. According to new research, the rise is largely courtesy of China.

 

In China, 42 percent of re-vegetation was from forests, with croplands supplying 32 percent. The country is undertaking massive programs to preserve and enlarge forests to minimize land degradation, remediate pollution and prevent climate change.

Since the turn of the new millennium, the planet’s green leaf area has increased by 5%, or over two million square miles. That’s an area equivalent to the sum total of the Amazon rainforests, NASA says.

 

NASA satellite data reveals the Earth is greening, with China and India jointly responsible for a third of the increase.

 

A third of the leaf increase is attributable to China and India, due to the implementation of major tree planting projects alongside a vast increase in agriculture.

The area of land under cultivation in China has not changed much in the past decade, yet their area of vegetation cover has risen greatly even as PRC food production has risen more than 35 percent since 2000, the researchers noted. China’s increase in forest area is the result of forest conservation and expansion programs, NASA said, established to combat the impacts of climate change, air pollution and soil erosion.

 

Forest expansion was behind 42 percent of China’s greening, with cultivated farmland adding 32 percent.

 

China performed well in both afforestation and farmland cultivation and its share is all the more impressive in that it has a mere 6.6 percent of the world’s green landmass, per the study conducted by a team from universities and institutes in the US, Germany, Denmark, Norway, China, India and France, and which included a NASA researcher.

The scientists cautioned against complacency over future growth of the globe’s green zones. Tropical rain forests are receding in many places and increasing vegetation in other areas will do little to cushion the ecological impact of this devastation.

 

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