NASA: Tree planting and agri in China and India make Earth greener

The Earth is now greener than it was two decades ago, according to the satellites of US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Data from NASA satellites revealed that China and India are the leading countries in terms of increased greening on lands. This is attributed to the ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agricultural planting in both countries.

The greening phenomenon was first observed in the mid-1990s by Ranga Myneni of Boston University and colleagues, but they had to confirm if it was caused by human activities. To collect more information, about 20 years of data were gathered by two NASA satellites orbiting the Earth using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) which provides high-resolution data and very accurate information, helping researchers to record what happens on the Earth’s vegetation, down to the level of 500 meters, or about 1,600 feet, on the ground.

“Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase,” NASA reported.

Chen et al. 2019 China and India lead in greening of the world through land-use. Nature Sustainability 2, 122–129;

Source: Crop Biotech Update

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