In an observation that the world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago, a latest study by NASA, on Monday, said that India and China are leading the global greening effort which is quite contrary to the general perception worldwide.
Backed by data received and analysed from its satellite, NASA study said that India and China are leading in greening on land. Author Chi Chen of Boston University said “China and India account for one-third of the greening but contain only 9 per cent of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation”.
Related Article:Is it Time to Celebrate or Introspect World Environment Day?
“That is a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from over exploitation,” he said.
Published on February 11 in the journal Nature Sustainability, the study said that recent satellite data (2000 2017) reveal a greening pattern that is strikingly prominent in China and India and overlaps with croplands world-wide. China alone accounts for 25 per cent of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6 per cent of global vegetated area.
China’s 42 per cent greening comes from forests while croplands constitute 32 per cent. In India it is mostly from croplands which are 82 percent with minor contribution from forests which is 4.4 per cent, the NASA study said.
With a determined goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change, China is working on ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests.
Related Article:Russia’s Dependence on the FIFA World Cup
Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a co-author of the study said that this study was made possible because of two-decade-long data record from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. Now with the MODIS data, we see that humans are also contributing.
According to the paper, how the greening trend may change in the future depends on numerous factors.