eforestation is a global problem. Such activity has been practiced since time immemorial, even if the law prohibits its doing.
We keep hearing news about massive deforestation and goes with it is the loss of habitat for animals living in forests. But even so, there’s still hope for these forests to regain themselves. A research published today in Nature Climate Change shows that for the past 10 years and counting, the world has actually became greener.
In spite of ongoing deforestation in some parts of globe like in South America and Southeast Asia, the study found out that the decline in these regions has been compensated by recovering forests outside the tropics, and new growth in the drier savannas and shrub lands of Africa and Australia.
Plants have the ability to absorb around a quarter of the carbon dioxide that people release into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. With a greening globe, more plants may mean more absorption of carbon dioxide. If so, this will slow down the increasing growth of climate change.
In view of this, researchers included in their study the measuring of the amount of carbon in plants. They studied how plants and vegetation are faring by determining the amount of carbon stored in living plant mass (or “biomass”) above the ground. Biomass is the plant material, or vegetation, or agricultural waste used as a source of energy.
They developed a new technique called passive microwave remote sensing, to map changes in vegetation biomass using satellite measurements of changes in the radio-frequency radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface.
This vegetation information was extracted from several satellites and merged them into one time series covering the last two decades. This allowed them to track global changes in biomass from month to month, something that was not possible before.
For almost a decade, they found that the total amount of vegetation above the ground has increased the amount of carbon by about 4 billion tonnes.
Their global analysis shows losses of vegetation in many regions, particularly at the frontiers of deforestation in the tropics of South America and Southeast Asia but these losses have been compensated by increases in biomass in other parts of the world.
Global deforestation may be hard to eradicate or even to control, but it would still be best for nations and their respective governments to make their policies or laws harder for those who do this kind of activity, and put more effort in countering this illegal act by pushing a massive reforestation campaign.