Last modified on September 12th, 2022 at 1:16 pm
The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago, and data from NASA satellites has revealed a counterintuitive source for much of this new foliage: China and India. A new study shows that the two emerging countries with the world`s biggest populations are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.
The greening phenomenon was first detected using satellite data in the mid1990s by Ranga Myneni of Boston University and colleagues, but they did not know whether human activity was one of its chief, direct causes. This new insight was made possible by a nearly 20yearlong data record from a NASA instrument orbiting the Earth on two satellites. This is called MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), and its high-resolution data provides highly accurate information and helps researchers identify details about what is happening to the Earth’s vegetation.
Overall, the greening of the Earth over the last two decades means an increase in plant and leaf area equal to the area of all Amazon rainforests. Currently, there is an additional green leaf area of over 2 million square miles per year compared to the early 2000s. This is a 5% increase.
China and India occupy one-third of the green cover, but cover only 9% of the earth’s vegetation-covered land area. It’s an amazing discovery, given the traditional concept.
The land area used to foster culture is not much different from China & India. However, these areas have significantly improved their food production but also annual green leaf areas. This was achieved by several harvest methods that the field is generated by another harvest a few times a year. Cereals, vegetables, fruits and more production have increased by approximately 35 to 40% since 2000, and to feed their large populations.
How the tendency of future greening changes depends on many factors, both worldwide levels and regional human levels. For example, an increase in food production in India is promoted by groundwater irrigation. This trend may change if groundwater is exhausted.
“Now we know that direct human effects are important drivers of greening Earth, so we have to consider this in our climate model.
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