NASA confirmed that the Earth has more trees than 20 years ago thanks to the continued efforts being made in China and India.
NASA – A report done by NASA has confirmed that the Earth has more trees than it did 20 years ago. This is due to efforts in China and India where people have continued to plant trees in the hopes of making the world greener. In 2017, India planted 66 million trees in just 12-hours.
After President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi decided to balance out the bad choice with a good one. India is the third largest generator of carbon emissions in the world so he committed to making a big difference in just one day.
The end goal is to have a made a 5-million hectare forest by 2030. China also launched tree planting initiatives which have been a big success. The combined efforts of both countries had a great impact on the overall greening of Earth.
According to NASA, they first started noticing the green spaces in the 1990s. Their satellites were picking up more green spaces but they weren’t sure if this was occurring naturally or due to human influence. They started tracking it by means of collecting data every time the satellites would pass over key areas.
‘It’s called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, and its high-resolution data provides very accurate information, helping researchers work out details of what’s happening with Earth’s vegetation, down to the level of 500 meters, or about 1,600 feet, on the ground.’
There is now a 5% increase in leaf coverage which is more than five million square kilometres of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s.
And it isn’t only these two contries that are making a big difference. Tree planting is happening all over the world. There is still a problem with habitat loss and deforestation which needs to consistantly be addressed but this study shows that when issues are identified, they can be fixed.
“Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it,” he said. “In the 70s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn’t good; in the 90s, people realized it; and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.” – Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a co-author of the report.
You can read the full scientific report here.