Environment

Earth Greening Up With More Vegetation

Despite wholesale deforestation in some areas, satellite observations reveal that the total amount of vegetation worldwide has increased by about 4 billion tons of carbon since 2003.

“The increase in vegetation primarily came from a lucky combination of environmental and economic factors and massive tree-planting projects in China,” said lead author Dr. Yi Liu of the University of New South Wales.

“Vegetation increased on the savannas in Australia, Africa and South America as a result of increasing rainfall, while in Russia and former Soviet republics we have seen the regrowth of forests on abandoned farmland.”

Liu pointed out that China was the only country that intentionally increased its vegetation by planting trees.

Despite the trend, the world’s greatest loss of plant life was observed on the edges of the Amazon forests, Sumatra and in Indonesian portions of Borneo.

Greening of savannas in Australia, South America and Africa helped reverse global forest loss in recent years.

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