NASA has been monitoring the Earth’s foliage for nearly 20 years using two high-resolution satellites. The satellites used for the mammoth study have revealed something that they suspected in the 90s; the planet is becoming greener.
According to NASA, the planet is now 5% greener than it was in the 2000s. Their data has revealed changes in the world’s vegetation in impressive detail, taking four images every day of every area of the planet. They first believed it to be because of global warming and climate change but they have concluded that are behind the new change.
esearch scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Rama Nemani, explained in a statement: “Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it… 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.”
China and India have accounted for a third of the new greenery, even though they only have 9% of the world’s green areas. Both have both been on a journey of extensive reforestation where China’s grew by 10% and India’s increased by 6%.
These figures paint a positive picture and hopeful will show other areas of the world that is is doable. Loss of vegetation can have disastrous consequences on the ecosystem if left un-tackled.
“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,” Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University said of the study.