NASA Confirms Earth Is Greener Today Than 20 Years Ago
March 1, 2019
The world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago, and China and India can take a majority of the credit.
India breaks world record planting 50 million trees in 24 hours
A new study from NASA shows that the two 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.
This new insight was made possible by a 20-year-long data record from a NASA instrument (MODIS) orbiting the Earth on two satellites.
There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
"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," said Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, in Massachusetts, and lead author of the study.
"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," said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, and a co-author of the study. "Now, with the MODIS data that lets us understand the phenomenon at really small scales, we see that humans are also contributing."
Sisters Ask Mom To Send A Cardinal Once She's In Heaven. Watch The Miracle!
Little Boy Accidentally Kills His Pet Goldfish By Cuddling It
Woman Discovers Why Her Dog Goes Missing For Days At A Time
Mom Thanks Cashier For Making Her Daughter's Day
You Need To See How Chris Pratt and Katherine Measured Their New House
Project Dug: Students Are Developing A Talking Dog Collar
Husband Finds Out He's Having Triplets
Whale Accidentally Eats Diver, Then Spits Him Back Out
Just 2 Minutes Of John Krasinski Breaking Character On The Office
Hozier Sings 'Take Me To Church' In NYC Subway
Man Crushes Dance Routine To Post Malone Song