NASA’s study revealed new findings as it showed that earth has shown an overall increase in greening over the last two decades, mainly thanks to ambitious tree planting programs carried out by various different people.
The research published on February 11 showed that the greening of earth over the course of the last two decades has shown an overall increase by 5 percent, equal to more than two million square miles of extra green plantation area per year compared to the numbers back in the early 2000’s.
The research data showed a comparison of satellite images from the mid-1990’s taken by Boston University and those collected from two NASA satellites orbiting the earth for 20 years. It showed that both China and India are leading the way in the greening process of the planet.
Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University and the lead author of the study said that the two countries “account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9 percent of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation.”
At first, the researchers thought that the increase of greening resulted from the change to warmer weather, wetter climate and the fertilization from added carbon dioxide, but Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, said that the new data showed that “humans are also contributing.”
Nemani pointed to China’s programs to conserve and expand forests and India’s cultivation of food crops.
“Now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models,” she continued. “This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action.”
It seems like taking care of the planet is slowly but surely showing its positive effects.
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