China and India – two economic power plants in Asia – contributing significantly to land planning, a new global survey published Monday found.
The world now has around 5.5 million square kilometers of extra green leaf area around the year compared to 2000. Much of this increase is due to greener in China and India. China has contributed 25 percent to this increase, while India added 6.8 percent of total global net growth in the magazine area between 2000 and 2017.
The contribution to greening in the two countries is much higher, although they have less vegetation than some developed countries. China has 6.6% and India only 2.7% of the global weighted area. The increase in total leaf area recorded in India is the same as in the United States or Canada, each of which has three times more vegetated area.
Green refers to the increase in the total leaf area – forests, crops, orchards, monoculture plantations, commercial plantations.
The increase in green areas is mostly due to an increase in food production in 35 percent in both countries with multiple crops accompanied by fertilizer use and surface availability and groundwater spillage. China has also taken great rejuvenation of forest areas and afforestation of buried lands.
In China, the growth of forests (42%) and crops (32%), but in India, it is mainly from grassland (82%) with minor contributions from forests (4.4%).
Previous studies had identified carbon dioxide fertilization as the main cause of green soils. But this study has shown that greening is more due to land use changes. The study is based on satellite data from MODIS sensors from NASA. These sensors see the entire earth twice a day at 500 meters of resolution.
"China and India account for one third of the greener, but contain only 9% of the global weighted land. This is a surprising finding given the general perception that there is soil degradation in populous countries due to over-exploitation," Chi Chen from the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, senior researcher, told India Science Wire. The study has been published in the journal Nature's sustainability.
However, experts feel that the increase in greener crops and plantations should not be seen as compensation for forest loss in Brazil, Indonesia and other parts of the world. "Green because of intensive farming does not improve the soil wash, because green carbon quickly returns to the atmosphere," Dr. explained. Victor Brovkin from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany, also co-authored the study.
"Since the forest's contribution to India's greenery is less (4%), it has not been studied in detail in this study. However, it is important that we find a global greener trend in natural vegetation (forests) in India, as opposed to some recent ones. studies that report a browning trend, "said Dr. Rajiv Kumar Chaturvedi (BITS Pilani, Goa campus) and a member of research team while talking to India Science Wire.
On the question of how the new study compares with the forest area statistics from the Indian Forest Survey (FSI), Dr. Chaturvedi states that the two cannot be compared, as both have different connections and objectives. "I believe that the FSI estimates should be more robust as their estimates should be based on thousands of field observations, in addition to satellite data. However, FSI estimates will be more credible if their soil data and satellite rating are made publicly available and subject to strict peer review. "he added.
The research team included Chi Chen, Taejin Park, Baodong Xu and Ranga B. Myneni (Boston University); Xuhui Wang, Shilong Piao, Zaichun Zhu (Peking University); Rajiv K. Chaturvedi (BITS, Goa campus); Richard Fuchs (Department of Meteorology and Climate Research, Germany); Victor Brovkin (Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, Germany); Philippe Ciais (Université Paris Saclay, France); Rasmus Fensholt (University of Copenhagen); Hans Tømmervik (Norwegian Institute for Natural Research); Govindasamy Bala (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore); Ramakrishna R. Nemani (NASA Ames Research Center).