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NASA Says Earth Is Greener Today Than 20 Years Ago Thanks To China, India

Greening of China and India

NASA has some good news, the world is a greener place today than it was 20 years ago. What prompted the change? Well, it appears China and India can take the majority of the credit.

In contrast to the perception of China and India’s willingness to overexploit land, water and resources for economic gain, the countries are responsible for the largest greening of the planet in the past two decades. The two most populous countries have implemented ambitious tree planting programs and scaled up their implementation and technology around agriculture.

India continues to break world records in tree planting, with 800,000 Indians planting 50 million trees in just 24 hours.

The recent finding by NASA and published in the journal Nature Sustainability, compared satellite data from the mid-1990s to today using high-resolution imagery. Initially, the researchers were unsure what caused the significant uptick in greening around the planet. It was unclear whether a warming planet, increased carbon dioxide (CO2) or a wetter climate could have caused more plants to grow.

After further investigation of the satellite imagery, the researchers found that greening was disproportionately located in China and India. If the greening was primarily a response from climate change and a warming planet, the increased vegetation shouldn’t be limited to country borders. In addition, higher latitude regions should become greener faster than lower latitudes as permafrost melts and areas like northern Russia become more habitable.

The greening of the planet.

The greening of the planet.

Nature Sustainability

The map above shows the relative greening (increase in vegetation) and browning (decrease in vegetation) around the globe. As you can see both China and India have significant greening.

The United States sits at number 7 in the total change in vegetation percent by decade. Of course, the chart below can hide where each country started. For example, a country that largely kept their forests and vegetation intact would have little room to increase percent vegetation whereas a country that heavily relied on deforestation would have more room to grow.

Comparing the greening of various countries around the globe.

Comparing the greening of various countries around the globe.

NASA.gov

NASA used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to get a detailed picture of Earth’s global vegetation through time. The technique provided up to 500-meter resolution for the past two decades.

Both China and India went through phases of large scale deforestation in the 1970s and 80s, clearing old growth forests for urban development, farming and agriculture. However, it is clear that when presented with a problem, humans are incredibly adept at finding a solution. When the focus shifted in the 90s to reducing air and soil pollution and combating climate change the two countries made tremendous shifts in their overall land use.

It is encouraging to see swift and rapid change in governance and land use when presented with a dilemma. It is something that will continue to be a necessary skill in the decades to come.

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I am a geologist passionate about sharing Earth’s intricacies with you. I received my PhD from Duke University where I studied the geology and climate of the Amazon. I am the founder of Science Trends, a leading source of science news and analysis on everything from climate change to cancer research. Let’s connect @trevornace

 

Source: NASA Says Earth Is Greener Today Than 20 Years Ago Thanks To China, India

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NASA Says Earth Is Greener Today Than 20 Years Ago Thanks To China, India

NASA has some good news, the world is a greener place today than it was 20 years ago. What prompted the change? Well, it appears China and India can take the majority of the credit. In contrast to the perception of China and India’s willingness to overexploit land, water and resources for economic gain, the countries are responsible for the largest greening of the planet in the past two decades. The two most populous countries have implemented ambitious tree planting programs and scaled up their implementation and technology around agriculture……….

Source: NASA Says Earth Is Greener Today Than 20 Years Ago Thanks To China, India

Massive Sinkhole Leaks Radioactive Water Into Florida’s Aquifer – Trevor Nace

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A massive sinkhole recently collapsed nearby Mulberry, Florida, draining approximately 215 million gallons of radioactive and contaminated water into Florida’s aquifer. The sinkhole was located directly below a wastewater storage pond used by Mosaic, the largest phosphate fertilizer producer in the world. There is local outcry that the event in fact took place three weeks before the local community was notified, despite the fact that this is Florida’s largest and primary aquifer for potable water…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2016/09/23/massive-sinkhole-leaks-radioactive-water-into-floridas-aquifer/?fbclid=IwAR3n9mATbQzjTfq0I1Rra5iCO__arO_L74Mfupci8GKD9Tc8O7zib-R8vxs#652ad5f15ed8

 

 

 

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The Ocean Cleanup System Begins Removing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Sead Fadilpasic

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A Dutch non-profit organization announced they were working on advanced technologies in an attempt to remove the plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The Ocean Cleanup launched in September the cleanup system called “System 001” from the San Francisco Bay. On October 16, the system reached a location 240 nautical miles offshore, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, to begin the operation on its removal. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest accumulation zone of ocean plastic pollution. It contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, covering an area twice the size of Texas……

Read more: https://techacute.com/the-ocean-cleanup-system-removes-plastic-from-oceans/

 

 

 

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Typhoon Mangkhut Officially Hong Kong’s Most Intense Storm Since Records Began – Tony Cheung

The most intense storm in Hong Kong’s history caused a record storm surge, uprooted some 1,500 trees, and left hundreds of windows smashed all over the city, officials said on Monday. As the long process of recovering from Typhoon Mangkhut began in earnest, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu called the damage “serious and extensive”, and said the number of calls for help, or reports of injury, was as much as five times higher than when Typhoon Hato battered Hong Kong in August last year……

Read more: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2164523/its-official-typhoon-mangkhut-was-most-intense

 

 

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With massive Hurricane Florence Approaching, a million People are Urged to Evacuate – Reuters

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South Carolina on Monday ordered an estimated 1 million people to evacuate its coast as the state and neighboring North Carolina brace for a hit from Hurricane Florence, the most powerful storm to take aim at the US mainland this year. The storm had winds of 130 miles per hour and was due to gain strength before making landfall, which the US National Hurricane Center said was likely to occur early Thursday in the Carolinas, bringing heavy rain that could cause severe flooding through the region.

Reda more: https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-09-10/massive-hurricane-florence-approaching-million-people-are-urged-evacuate

 

 

 

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Floating Trash Collector Set to Tackle Pacific Garbage Patch – Laura Parker

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The campaign to rid the world’s oceans of plastic trash marks a turning point on Saturday as a giant, floating trash-collector steams out of San Francisco on a mission to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Over the course of the next year, the device will undergo the ultimate tests and face some tough questions: Can technology prevail over nature? Did the engineers at The Ocean Cleanup in the Netherlands invent the first feasible method for extracting large amounts of plastic debris from the sea…..

Read more: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/09/ocean-cleanup-plastic-pacific-garbage-patch-news/

 

 

 

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How Drones could change Future of Fighting Wildfires – The Futurist

Dangerous conditions in California are forcing some departments to look for alternative ways to combat raging wildfires. The Mendocino Park Fire Department is using drones to go where humans can’t. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joined CBSN to explain just how much a drone can do..

Source: https://www.thefuturist.co/how-drones-could-change-future-of-fighting-wildfires/

 

 

 

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These Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart – XiaoZhi Lim

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LOS ANGELES — The custodians of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit at the National Air and Space Museum saw it coming. A marvel of human engineering, the suit is made of 21 layers of various plastics: nylon, neoprene, Mylar, Dacron, Kapton and Teflon.

The rubbery neoprene layer would pose the biggest problem. Although invisible, buried deep between the other layers, the suit’s caretakers knew the neoprene would harden and become brittle with age, eventually making the suit stiff as a board. In January 2006, the Armstrong suit, a national treasure, was taken off display and stored to slow the degradation……

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/science/plastics-preservation-getty.html

 

 

 

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More Pollution Shows Up In New River, & This Time It’s Milky White – David Fleshler

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A few weeks ago, residents reported murky, “chocolate-milk color” water and an oily sheen on the river. Environmental inspectors for Broward County identified the source as a Fort Lauderdale street-improvement project at Southeast 2nd Street and Southeast 4th Avenue, where stormwater was being used under pressure and a pump was found to be leaking diesel fuel.

Source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fort-lauderdale/fl-sb-new-river-pollution-20180829-story.html

 

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