While climate change and deforestation have been the primary point of discussion at world forums over the last decade, two of the most populous countries in the world, India and China are reportedly increasing their green covers with the help of ambitious tree-planting projects and intensive agriculture.
India and China helps in increasing greenery
Satellite data provided by NASA shows that over the last 20 years, there has been an increase in the leaf area on plants and trees which can be equated with the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests, reported BBC. The study has reportedly been published in the latest edition of Nature Sustainability and it showed that at least 25% of the foliage expansion globally from the mid-2000s came from China followed by India.
In 2017 alone, India broke its own world record for the most number of trees planted after volunteers gathered 66 million saplings in just 12 hours. Reportedly, researches first observed the greening activity in the 1990s but didn’t know that it was due to human activity. Rama Nemani, a research scientist from Nasa’s Ames Research Center said, “Now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models.” However, while both these countries account for one-third of the greening, the total land area is only 9%.
According to The Times Of India, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS helped reveal the new insight with at least 20 years of recorded data. Researchers also found that through multiple cropping, production of crops and vegetables increased by 30-40% since 2000.
While the trends are positive, the researchers have said that the gain in the green cover does not compensate for the loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions. However, the new findings will help scientists to make better predictions about the behaviour of different systems on Earth which will ultimately help countries to make better policies to combat climate change.
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