If there has been one positive thing that global warming has caused, it is this – according to maps released by NASA, the Earth is greener now than it was in the 1980s. Interestingly, this increase in green cover has been due to the increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the increased carbon dioxide resulted in a more significant amount of photosynthesis.
Now, compared to the 2000s, there has been a 5% increase in the overall greenery of our planet. According to a study conducted by researchers from Boston University and NASA, China and India are the main contributors to this increase in green cover.
The study also reveals that forest and croplands are the main sources of green cover in China, while in India, 82% of the green cover comes from croplands. Because the majority of greenery comes from croplands, it becomes a variable as cropland depends on many factors such as soil quality, water availability, and high yield.
Additionally, the monoculture method of agriculture is practiced in many regions – it causes soil degradation and fertility loss and so, can eventually result in loss of green cover. Hence, we must conserve and increase the green cover that consists of both forest land and agricultural land.
Green cover is a naturally occurring or planted vegetation that covers the terrain, preventing soil erosion, supporting flora and fauna, and balancing the temperature. Nowadays, green cover is a much-needed element of the urban ecosystem. It provides a rainwater barrier, purifies the air, maintains biodiversity, and provides cooler temperatures.
There have been many efforts to increase the green cover in different countries; For example, China has a forest cover of almost 22% – they aim to increase the green cover by investing in green initiatives such as increasing the green cover by intensive tree planting in rural areas and building shelter forests for farmlands.
Similarly, the Economic Survey of India has launched initiatives to plant 50 million trees by 2030 to help reach the aim of clean coal and increase forest cover. Saudi Arabia has also launched the Saudi Green Initiative, which aims to turn desert land into the greenery.
Our forests are highly crucial to our survival. They provide us with invaluable resources and benefits that we cannot get from anywhere else. They prevent soil erosion, supply us with clean air, balance the temperature, and host most of the marvelous species of flora and fauna. We must not let our forests disappear because if they do, humanity’s very existence will be threatened.