Study – Global Tree cover on the rise – possibly due to CO2/global warming

Global tree canopy cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometers (865,000 square miles) between 1982 and 2016, reports a new study in Nature. These new findings contradict earlier studies that reported a continuing net loss of forest cover.

Researchers using satellite data tracked the changes in various land covers to find that gains in forest area in the temperate, subtropical, and boreal climatic zones are offsetting declines in the tropics. In addition, forest area is expanding even as areas of bare ground and short vegetation are shrinking. Furthermore, forests in montane regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow higher up on mountains.

Tree canopy in Europe, including European Russia, has increased by 35 percent—the greatest gain among all continents. The researchers attribute much of that increase to the “natural afforestation on abandoned agricultural land,” which has been “a common process in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Full story at Reason Online


The study:

Global land change from 1982 to 2016


Land change is a cause and consequence of global environmental change. Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and—in turn—affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services. However, quantification of global land change is lacking. Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics. Global bare ground cover has decreased by 1.16 million km2 (−3.1%), most notably in agricultural regions in Asia. Of all land changes, 60% are associated with direct human activities and 40% with indirect drivers such as climate change. Land-use change exhibits regional dominance, including tropical deforestation and agricultural expansion, temperate reforestation or afforestation, cropland intensification and urbanization. Consistently across all climate domains, montane systems have gained tree cover and many arid and semi-arid ecosystems have lost vegetation cover. The mapped land changes and the driver attributions reflect a human-dominated Earth system. The dataset we developed may be used to improve the modelling of land-use changes, biogeochemical cycles and vegetation–climate interactions to advance our understanding of global environmental change.

160 thoughts on “Study – Global Tree cover on the rise – possibly due to CO2/global warming

  1. “Expanding woodlands suggests that humanity has begun the process of withdrawing from the natural world which in turn will provide greater scope for other species to rebound and thrive.”
    What an odd way of putting it. As farming becomes more industrialized much former farmland is now reverting to woodland, as smaller “family” farms can longer compete. Also, if there is an alternative to a hardscrabble subsistence-style existence in rural areas, people generally will take it. It’s pretty basic economics. The idea that man is “withdrawing from the natural world” is just stupid.

    • As people withdraw from the natural world, they take their thermometers with them, giving the impression of unnatural warming. And it is. Cities are pretty unnatural places, with unnatural climate.

          • How about it??? You can search it can’t you? Don’t just bleat at me, post something.

            If you’re disputing their data, in what way is it incorrect? Post the contrary evidence. Not opinions, evidence.

          • Ryan,

            The question was polemical, to give you the chance to justify your use of such inappropriate “data”.

            I know the FAO definition, what it includes and excludes, but apparently you don’t. You chose to post a graph, seemingly without knowing what it measures.

            An FAO “forest” is not comparable to “global tree canopy”. Besides which your “data” are outdated.

            For your education and edification:


          • I think you’re splitting hairs. Humans have marauded the planets echo-systems and that marauding is still accellerating, correllating quite nicely with population.

            Do you think there were more trees in 1982 than there are now?
            Thats a polemical question too?

          • Gnomish,

            The Unabomber was relatively better educated and informed. Teddy (the other) K, a mathematical prodigy, actually lived in the woods after Harvard and abandoning his promising academic career.

          • Bad as he is, the Unabomber actually lived off the grid. I doubt RyanS could go a day without Wifi, a decent latte and indoor plumbing.

          • Ryan,

            No. But I have split wood.

            I think there are probably more trees now than in 1982, and almost certainly denser canopy. The reason recent North and South American forest fires have been so smoky is that there are now far more small trees, which should have been thinned.

            In the US, forest management practices under Carter made it impossible properly to thin the forests and make fire breaks, as we used to do when cleaning up after logging operations.

            While more tropical forest may have been cut down, net, since 1982 than before, even there, plantations of native and introduced commercial trees are replacing those harvested.

            IMO you really ought to study a topic, or better yet, have actually worked in the relevant industry, before presuming to comment upon it. But, hey, maybe that’s just me.

          • “I think there are probably more trees now than in 1982”

            Do you have any evidence to support this opinion?

            I think you ought to be studying this a little more.

          • Ryan,

            As should be obvious, among the evidences supporting this conclusion are the observations reported in the Nature-published study cited in this post.

          • Song, Xiao-Peng; Hansen, Matthew C.; Stehman,Stephen V.;Potapov, Peter V.;Tyukavina, Alexandra; Vermote, Eric F.; Townshend, John R. (2018). Global Land Change from 1982 to 2016, NATURE, 560:7720

            FROM THE ABSTRACT:

            Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics.

            This was all in the article that started this discussion. Ryan S, did you not read this?

            Note the date range of the NATURE study, 1982-2016. Your graph is for the date range, 1990-2005. The NATURE study has eleven more years of more recent data than your graph shows.

            You are behind the times.

          • Ryan,

            As for marauding ecosystems, humans are pitiful pikers compared to the real biggies in the species destruction business.

            The first cyanobacteria came close to wiping out all other life on Earth during the Great Oxygenation Catastrophe. All anaerobic microbes were pushed close to extinction by photosynthesizing bacteria poisoning the world with the highly reactive, destructive, deadly molecule O2.

            Then there were the Ediacaran animals, which by consuming the algal and cyanobacterial slime mats on the bottoms of shallow seas, almost wiped themselves out. Yet the survivors gave us the Cambrian Explosion.

            So these disastrous Precambrian mass extinction events gave us the ancestors of plants and animals which thrive today.

            As with the genius of capitalism, there is creative destruction.

          • Going a little too far there John comparing Capitalism with a mass extinction event, but hey if humans go extinct quickly that might mean there are several hundred Nuke plants lying around unattended, given it takes decades to decommission them. That’d make a fine mess.

          • Ryan,

            Many are they who imagine that we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event of the Phanerozoic Eon, caused by humans.

            So why not compare the effect of humans with those of cyanobacteria and the Ediacaran biota at the beginning and end of the Proterozoic Eon?

            There really is no comparison. While humans have caused the extinction of a variety of organisms, our effect, as noted, pales in comparison. We’re pikers in the extinction derby.

          • Ryan,

            are you honestly suggesting that the time frame for human extinction would be so quick that vast tracks of industry would just be left running?

            So we have gone from discussing the accuracy of de-foresting reports to claiming that unattended nuclear plants would be a significant risk to any post-human planet?

            Are you sure you are not deliberately trolling?

          • Marauding?

            Once again, Ryan demonstrates that the core value of himself and the rest of his crowd, is anti-human.

            Every study other than the propaganda piece you dug up, has found that there are way more trees.

            However you are so fixated on your desire to believe that humans are evil, that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

          • I post a “so-called” graph, a graph is not an opinion. I ask for evidence to refute it “not opinions” and instead Mark gives his opinion. Troll.

          • RyanS, Each time you post you make it clear how much you hate the human species and, my guess is, probably yourself. You also apparently believe that the United Nations is an unbiased source of information which indicates you know very little recent history of the UN. For several decades I worked regularly with the UN-FAO fishery section. They regularly screwed up their data and the information they presented to the world. It was truly sad and, for me, a idealistic young scientists at the time, inexplicable that is until I ran into one of the FAO staffers at a conference. He as leaving the FAO. We spent the evening discussing FAO policies and real motivations. Even then they were driven and led by anti-Western devout socialists.

        • Yeah, we probably shouldn’t build anymore housing developments. It’s much preferable that we continue to cram people into high-density housing. Yep – my home state is 98% unpopulated – can’t touch any of that. Might not have any wilderness left. And THAT certainly bothers the urbanites in Portland who are mostly concerned with their view… or just ‘knowing’ it’s all out there… even if you’re locked out of it.

        • 1) The UN? Are you kidding?
          2) I love how acolytes actually believe that their opinions trump real world data.

      • Are termite mounds, ant colonies, prairie dog communities, and beaver dams also pretty unnatural? What about very large herds of grass eating animals that trample everything in their path as they travel back and forth over a large area on a seasonal basis?

        • “What about very large herds of grass eating animals…”

          Lol. Yeah they’re everywhere. No square inch left untouched.

          …one species thinking it’s somehow separate and exempt.

          • While I don’t understand you comment, you do know that there used to be tens, if not hundreds, of millions more than there are now, do you not?

    • Mohat,

      When and if the MSM ever report this story, the spin will be that tropical forests, the “lungs of the world”, are still shrinking.

      • That’s funny. Large tropical forests are oxygen neutral, CO2 neutral and methane positive. That’s OK if your lungs can cope with methane.

        The point I make indirectly is that the oceans are massive “forests” they simply are not considering. The Amazon forest isn’t the “lungs” of anything. It is an error of attribution that persists in the common misunderstanding of how the world works.

        • Crispin,

          True. More photosynthesis occurs in the oceans than on land.

          The tropics comprise 40% of the Earth’s surface area and contain 36% of its landmass. So the sunniest zone is relatively even more watery than the planet’s surface as a whole.

        • Thanks for the correction Crispin, so in fact it would be more accurate to call the Amazon the a-hole of the Earth. I’ll have to remember that one.

        • I seem to remember (on this site) an image from a CO2-sensing satellite, that the Amazon was producing lots of CO2, and was anything but neutral…

    • “Couldn’t they put a negative spin on it?”

      They do. They call forest expansion “woody encroachment.”

      Language manipulation is a clear sign of propaganda.

      • Javier,

        Thanks to more plant food in the air, grass and scrub vegetation are also encroaching on desert, as in the Sahel.

          • Soon children will not know what sand is, except at the beach.

            And Gila monsters and scorpions will go extinct!

          • Farmer,

            Yes, your gas guzzler turns octane into CO2 and water, the two feedstocks for plants to make the sugar which gives them life.

            Although first, the water has to rain down on their roots, but their leaves suck in the CO2 directly from the air. It also helps if you exhale vigorously

            2 C8H18 + 25 O2 —> 16 CO2 + 18 H2O.

            The plants thank you for their food.

    • what good news ?!

      “areas of bare ground and short vegetation are shrinking. ”

      short vegetation is in danger WE MUST ACT NOW !

    • It’s damned irresponsible if you ask me. Straight reporting of more trees? Yikes! They should spin it into a desperate and growing (pun intended) shortage of barren land. Places where vultures can circle more easily, and gather the carrion from a dying world.

  2. 2.24 million square kilometers gain in tree area in the last 30 years.
    Lets see who in the MSM is first to report this good news.
    3 … 2 … 1 …

    • Without knowing the total area, I have no idea if that is a huge change or piss in the ocean over 40 years.

      Also I do not understand technical jargon like “square mile” can we have that in football foelds please 😉

      • That’s between Greenland and Algeria in size. A bit smaller than the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which actually has forests.

      • A few years ago, the trees were counted by satellite and it was determined there were 3 trillion of them. Then there are shrubs and grasses. The “leaf area” of the planet expanded ~18% in 35 yrs, several times the area of the United States. I’ve lost the link but it was a recent NASA report.

        Being the only unequivocal palpable manifestation of anthropo climate change, the silence has been deafening from the Team. A quick silly desperate article on how this huge increase in habitat and a doubling of harvests is bad for the planet was all they could muster. This elephant in the room is trumpeting a high positive value for ‘carbon’ emissions- this wont do!

  3. Not to belabor the point, but wasn’t ‘planting more trees’ one of the greenies’ big carbon-offset plans?

    • Somebody needs to send those groups a congratulatory note on covering 2.24 million square kilometers! I’ll bet they had no idea they were having that large an impact.

      • Yeah – just like all their anti-carbon efforts are the reason the planet hasn’t ended yet.
        Kinda like Obama is responsible for the Trump economy.
        I’m sure Hallmark has a card.

    • There plan was to force humans to pay to plant trees.

      These trees grew on their own. Didn’t cost us humans a thing.
      Therefore they don’t count.

  4. It doesn’t seem surprising that adding more carbon to the carbon cycle would result in more plant life in general and a portion of that plant increase would be trees. Earth is greening because of our CO2 emissions and this study mentions that carbon uptake has doubled in 50 years. That’s double the photosynthesis and therefore double the amount of food being created.

    Given how low CO2 has dipped in recent glaciations it becomes clear that our CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is in fact saving life on earth not hurting it. The carbon cycle is the fountain of life. It was running on empty but then we came along just in time to refill it. That’s nothing to be alarmed about – it’s miraculous!

    • You’d think that would be a no-brainer.
      I dare say the addition of C02 to the atmosphere is about the least destructive thing the human race has ever done.

    • That leads me to speculate, what if it was the carbon sequestration cycle that is the primary driver of ice ages, and not something else? Perhaps, after the biosphere has sucked up most of the available CO2 such that primary production becomes very constrained, the ice fields expand because there is no plant cover to decrease albedo? What if it isn’t solar cycles or orbital precessions or anything else, just a long slow rhythm between plants and ice?

  5. From the article: “Furthermore, forests in montane regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow higher up on mountains.”

    There has been a “pause” in warming for quite a few years. So is it warmth or increased levels of CO2 that causes this growth?

    • It’s not warming….CO2 makes pines,conifers,etc more cold tolerant

      Conversely an increase in freezing tolerance under elevated CO2,
      observed in P. mariana, was related to the changes in bud phenology
      [47]. The greater accumulation of carbohydrates under elevated
      CO2 [52] may also contribute to the improved freezing tolerance.
      The stability of the effect of changing the acclimation state by high
      CO2 level can be questioned. The effect of enhanced cold acclimation
      at elevated temperatures and CO2 was observed only in the
      first year of the experiment with Scots pine (P. sylvestris) plants

      • Thanks, Latitude. I thought there might be more to it than just the extra warmth, especially since the growth expansion seems to have continued during “The Pause”.

        • you know…if I can be this cynical and look for another reason
          …you would think these scientist clowns that write this crap would at least take a look at google first

          …but no

    • Having gone to the Rockies many times in the last 50 years since my childhood, I can confirm that the the increasing elevation of the treeline…….is total BS……

  6. These “studies” always amaze me. Ok so there are more trees. Someone want to tell me Why? Is it higher temps, more CO2, more artificial nutrients, or unicorn pee? I don’t find any research data in this study as to why it is occurring. Making conclusions as to why is nothing more than guessing and IS NOT scientific!

    • Jim Gorman asks:

      These “studies” always amaze me. Ok so there are more trees. Someone want to tell me Why?

      Jim, the answer to your question is alluded to by the following claim, to wit:

      2.24 million square kilometers gain in tree area in the last 30 years.

      Researchers can only “see” that there has been substantial tree growth in the past 30 years, ….. but the fact is they have only been seeing mature trees that began repopulating, reclaiming the once productive farm/ranch lands that began being “vacated” 40 to 50 years ago.

      My father once told me, ….. you can’t raise a family by raising trees. So ya had to clear-cut all the trees to raise cattle, sheep, grains and a family garden to keep everyone fed, clothed, etc.

      But now days, most everyone raises their family by purchasing their food, clothing, etc. at a local retail store, …….. and most wouldn’t know how to cut a tree down even if they wanted to.

      • I remember when this was all farmland as far as the eye could see! Old man Peabody owned all of this! He had this crazy idea about breeding pine trees – Doctor Emmet Brown

      • Actually, you can raise a fair amount by growing trees. Lots of people farm fast growing pine in the SE USA for pulp and lumber, and longer term, that’s where hardwoods like oak and hickory are grown.

        • Trees are also farmed here in the Pacific NW, both for pulp and structural lumber. Columbia River water-irrigated hybrid poplar farm in Morrow County, OR, alongside I-84:

          The old growth hardwood forests of the Midwest were however cut or burnt down in the 19th century to grow corn.

          By the end of the century, the value of the wood from the destroyed trees was higher than all those decades of corn production. But families had to eat in the meantime.

  7. RE: “These new findings contradict earlier studies that reported a continuing net loss of forest cover.”
    Oh Dear! The new science is so unsettling, compared to the old settled science…..

  8. Last phrase of the article:

    “Continuing land-use change and the increasing role of climate change in modifying land cover warrants continued monitoring of the Earth’s land surface from space.”

    Translated to: “Our jobs and salaries still necessary despite finding something positive about climate change.”

    The tough choice faced by scientists whose findings hinder the political narrative about climate change. Some scientists might be choosing not to report inconvenient results and bury them instead.

  9. Actual “leafing” area has increased~18% in 35 years. The study is a compromise to not give full weight to what is going on (shrubs and grasses are not included). Greening fringes into the earth’s arid areas and over time, fringes within fringes advance the greening making it an exponential process.

    I’ve commented frequently on the phenomenon, seemingly in a vacuum even among sceptics, that nature has sequestered ~100Gt of ‘carbon’ during this period (my estimate, too subject weary to reproduce it) and that it is an endothermic process (a cooling effect -coinciding with the Dreaded Pause by coincidence?).

    It is a great irony that the Greening is the only unequivocal manifestation of anthropogenic climate change and it is has been taboo to discuss it! Going quiet on the ‘unhelpful’ results of the CO2 satellite is another. The main reason is that the Greening, along with the doubling of harvests makes the value of carbon highly positive. Imagine rewarding fossil fuel companies with a cheque each year for their contribution! When BS memes clog daily life and wellbeing, irony is it’s most prominent byproduct.

    This wonderful development has inspired me to forecast a “Garden of Eden Earth^тм” in the middle years of this century with peak world population, plentiful resources, peace and prosperity.

  10. Well this is a bummer..
    Which cherry do we pick…..
    Just look at the figure here:

    They are saying that tree cover LOSS and JUST for the last 6 years has amounted to 120 million hectares
    yet these folks are saying it has increased by 220 million hectares between ’82 and ’16

    So which is it…

    I do like the bit in THIS report that says:
    natural afforestation on abandoned agricultural land

    Yes people, I know the satellite picture you’re looking at and which authority you’re appealing to (NASA)
    The same one that says the UK is 25% greener than it ever was.
    No. No. No. That is simply not possible.
    A similar authority to the Department For Extermination of Rural Affairs here in the UK.
    The one that was ‘bemused’ when foresters in Scandavia told them that nitrogen and sulphur have a fertilising effect on plants. Our own leaders didn’t know about nitrogen fertiliser and imagine that carbonoxide does everything.
    Here it is again:
    THERE is your Global Greening.

    Could I venture also where some more Global Greening is coming from?
    Esp in some of the more lawless parts of the world where the unfriendly local dictator has slain the population…
    The population have farmed too many goats, destroyed their dirt and gone to live The Good Life in a cardboard box around the capital city.
    This of course contrary to the best efforts of bleeding hearts and humanitarian charities that try to get them to stay home, eat rice (face it -NOBODY likes eating rice) after trying and failing to cook said tasteless gravelly mush on a solar stove under a failing LED bulb, assuming no-one has stolen and recycled the battery.

    So how did their Sputnik differentiate between ‘ordinary’ greenery and tree-cover greenery?
    Also- 1982 – how long has this Sputnik been flying……

    You do see the weasel word ‘cover’
    No-one has been down on the ground and counted the trees, have they?
    Like in Siberia Russia for example. Where nobody goes or even wants to go and anyway, we all know what sort of ‘tree science’ comes out that part of the world. Yamal by example. hahaha
    There’s a computer model behind this.

    Yes it would be lovely what they say but, I don’t believe it for a minute and I’m the guy who has planted hundreds of trees around my old place

    • Worldwide countless people ‘likes” to be eating rice. Most have learned how to both cook it properly & serve it appetizingly.

    • If you are really interested, there are a great many YouTube videos on areas, some very extensive, that have been reforested and otherwise had plant life added by human effort. Some of it iv quite dramatic. Also, don’t forget the smaller efforts that re re-establishing kelp forests in a number of locations.

  11. Wouldn’t a tree canopy ‘trap’ LWIR emitted from the surface and then re-emit a portion of this energy back towards the surface thereby making the air under trees warmer than it would be otherwise? I was thinking about that the other day while cooling off from chores in the shade under a tree.

    • Except the light doesn’t get through the foliage to the underbrush to make it as “hot as it would otherwise be” in the first place.
      So no, I guess. It is cooler than it would otherwise be because it doesn’t get as hot.

  12. A criticism of the article: to say warming has been a significant factor when CO2 is the far and away factor, comes from disinclination to report any good coming of the universe’s most remarkable molecule. Most of any warming has occurred (in accordance with theory and observation) in the polar areas; the tropics not at all and the temperate zone very modestly, so, where things grow CO2 is the principle cause. After demonizing the life-giving molecule so roundly, one can’t give it any kudos. The meme depends on it being a dangerous pollutant.

  13. Almost decade ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that trees are being added globally. In the U.S., a half a ton of new trees per person is added every year. The growth is due to the higher concentration of CO2, which nourishes trees, but also due to humans eliminating wood for heating and cooking, for toys, and other goods formerly made from wood.

    New England was near forest-free at the time of Civil War. Viewed from an airplane it now appears forest covered, with open patches for townships that also contain trees. Overall, there are billions of trees standing, billions of seedlings are sprouting every year, and all that results in net wood being added.

    The craziness of preserving trees no matter what results in power outages whereby potentially troublesome trees – many grotesquely deformed from repeated utility pruning – are not removed in time. Not only are those trees dangerous, being weakened and diseased from repeated pruning, but those saved will need pruning again, the cost of which increases utility bills.

    • Up until about the time of the Civil War New England farms were growing a lot of mostly rye wheat for bread. Then the railroads came bringing in much cheaper wheat flour from the plains states and that is what put NE wheat farmers and grain mills out of business.

      On top of that there was a lot of farming across the country just to feed the working animals; something like 1/3 of the acreage to feed big cities was for animals going into the 20th century. Electricity and IC engines ended the need to enslave huge numbers of mostly horses and the acreage needed to feed all of them.

      In essence, coal, railroads and capitalism are what conspired to regrow NE forests – and all without any government subsidies!

  14. Getting old innit – u forget stuff.

    Me and my Farming Hat here…..
    IF, really big IF, there are So Many Trees around now, why has the price of cheap & cheerful wooden fence stakes, Cundy Posts as they’re called in Cumbria and other places (1.8 metres long, ‘tween 3 and 4 inches diameter with a pointy end) and used in their thousands by UK livestock farmers… Why has the price of these things quadrupled inside the last 5 years?
    The wood-yard where I got mine *used* to include prices on its website. 95 pence plus VAT which a real farmer would reclaim
    It doesn’t now – too embarrassed and scared of frightening the punters away in all probability.
    To find a better life on the big-city landfill where they can find nicer and more nutritious things than rice to eat.
    Cardboard for example.

    Even before you venture into the local DIY store for some building timber.
    If there are so many trees around, why is this stuff skyrocketing in price?
    None of what these folks say stacks up in the real world. None of it.

    • Peta,

      Wood might be a minor part of the price for Cundy posts, just as wheat is in bread. There are taxes and tariffs, the cost of harvesting the softwood, sawing it up, machining into posts, treating, transporting and selling them.

      Are the trees from which they’re made grown in Britain or abroad? What effect, if any, has Brexit had?

      Then there is supply and demand. Has the latter increased? Maybe trees are being chipped up to be burned in lieu of coal, rather than made into posts.

      • Andy,

        Trees which have started growing recently often wouldn’t be of harvestable size, even for such a product as posts.

        • Look up the reforesting of Iceland. While the acreage is growing considerably, they are also using a significant part of it for lumber and in other useful ways.

    • That’s ’cause their burning the trees in that converted coal generator and stealing all the source wood for virtue signalling.

  15. Elon Musk’s latest brilliance on display:

    “People ask, why should EVs have a subsidy? What they don’t realize is that all carbon-burning vehicles are subsidized by the cost to Earth… in the future we will pay for it.”

  16. That Bio-Mass exponentially increases Bio-Mass by the Carbon Dioxide Cycle and humans play a small part of that by our land useage and small contributions of Carbon Dioxide from Fossil Fuels and other means. We are still recovering from the Icehouse of some 1,200 years ago – that caused massive extinctions of flora and fauna – since the interglacial began. This is a slow process that has only been accelerated with humans use of Fossil Fuels and our husbandry of the environment. That otherwise wouldn’t have happened on its own. And is being hampered by Governments policies to reduce our Carbon Dioxide Footprint. How much Greener would the Earth be if those restrictions were never done?

    • How much greener would the world be without these government restrictions?

      Not much.
      There is no evidence that these government restrictions have had much, if any, impact on CO2 emissions.

      • I’m shocked. You mean that riding my bike instead of driving to and from work 40 miles round trip is doing nothing? Or all my solar panels to get off the grid of Fossil Fuels has done nothing to reduce CO2? Or my electric car and energy efficiency home is not reducing the Carbon Dioxide emissions? Or all those noisy windmills haven’t reduced the Carbon Dioxide emissions either.

        Playing the Devil’s Advocate there. But with all of those touting reduced CO2 emissions that are Plant Fertilizer and the billions of tons over decades they claim to not be putting into the environment. Is where I was making my point. By depriving the Flora of CO2 because of those things. Wouldn’t the Earth be greener when Bio-Mass begets Bio-Mass?

        • Riding your bike does decrease CO2 emissions somewhat, but don’t forget that all of that exercise is causing you to exhale more CO2.
          Solar Panels, electric cars and windmills do not reduce CO2 emissions. They just transfer where they are generated.

          • “Riding your bike does decrease CO2 emissions somewhat, but don’t forget that all of that exercise is causing you to exhale more CO2.” No kidding…I guess my stating I was playing “Devil’s Advocate” as in sarcasm didn’t connect with you. So here’s something I wrote last year…


            Last week I commented that Bio-Mass is not just the things we consume for energy, it is everything that had been alive and is living. The Carbon Cycle is not much different than the Carbon Dioxide Cycle. Yet many in science today ignore that Fauna are Secondary Sinks of Carbon Dioxide where the arrow goes from Flora to Fauna before the arrow goes from Fauna to the Atmosphere.
            ( I wrote this in 2013 )”Bio-Mass includes all the insects down to single cell lifeforms like bacteria as Micro-fauna – that are not Flora – and combined out Mass all the over 7.3 billion humans alive today. “A single average sized human at rest approximately exhale about 1,963 Pounds of Carbon Dioxide – more than they inhaled – per year as an average. There are now 7 Billion Humans in the world as of 2013. Multiply 7 Billion times 1,963 equals 13,741,000,000,000 Pounds or divide by 2,000 for a short ton equals 6,870,500,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide “Humans” produce a Year. If you added every form of animal from insects, fish, and birds and up to a massive Whales, how much Carbon Dioxide is created in a year? I haven’t looked it up in years, but read it somewhere that termite mounds in Africa – if I remember correctly – produce so much Carbon Dioxide that the air around them is suffocating to animals that get near them, because they consume nearly all the oxygen in the area and make it CO2 rich. ”
            When Global Warming and Climate Change Scientist separate Natural from Human contributions in their figures, Humans are included in the Natural – as in Nature – category. Yet, when they include Deforestation in the Human Contributions they do not include natural Deforestation fires or blights or droughts in the Natural Contributions. Here’s what one site said….
            (I apologize that I spent 40 minutes trying to find the environmentalist site that I got these figures from and haven’t found it yet. I put this together back in 2013 too.) “Naturally Created Carbon Dioxide: 42.8% is the Exchange between our Atmosphere and the Water Bodies of Earth. All Flora and Fauna Respiration and Decomposition 28.56%, with soil Respiration and Decomposition another 28.56% and the minor contributor from Volcanic Actions at 0.03% to a combined total of 99.95% of the Earths Carbon Dioxide created by the Natural Sources…of which Humans are all a fraction of those Fauna. But these sites then give the other 0.05% created by Humans broken down to 87% of all burning of Fossil Fuels, Deforestation (like forest fires that over 80% are caused naturally globally and yet all is contributed to humans) as 9% and the remaining 4% is from Industrial Sources like the manufacturing of Cement.”
            Note how the combination of Human Contributions are not into the decimal points that the Natural Contributors are. Also notice how the combined Human Contributions adding up to 0.05% is more than that given for volcanic activities at 0.03% and how you often read/hear how Fossil Fuels contribute more CO2 than Volcanoes. Do the math for just the 87% of human Contributions out of that 0.05%.

            0 May 22, 2017 4:20 am

            Mark W. You are missing my points. Globally Governments have created regulations that impose taxes on fossil fuels that with the Alarmist Environmentalist in the media, people have been conditioned to be more conservative of their use of energy from fossil fuels. Government regulations forced automotive manufacturers to make their engines more efficient and MPG has increased and lowered the CO2 they produce. Government regulations have forced nearly everything that requires energy to use less energy and that equates to less CO2 emissions from whatever the source of energy, that still uses fossil fuels in its manufacture, growth, storage and transport. What if those things never happened? People would have been burning more fossil fuels, poor governments that those like the IPCC has been keeping from building fossil fuels power plants, would have already been becoming energy equal with other countries and pumping more CO2 into the environment. So it is still my point that the Earth would be much greener if the Government’s would have not done what has been done.

          • Mark W. My first comment was what you commented on as being not valid. So I countered with sarcasm that it was. You didn’t take it as sarcasm and again tried to deflect from my point. So I showed that I more than understood your points with what I’d previously written over a year ago. But you still don’t seem to get my point after explaining how Governments have effectively reduced CO2 emissions.

  17. Will all the other climate scientists who did fraudulent studies blaming net loss because of CO2 now be forced to return their grant money? Unfortunately Virginia the world doesn’t work that way. We can only dream of justice.

    • Not only will they not have to return their grants, they will get new grants so the can study how they got it so wrong.

  18. I can tell you, the nettles are certainly thriving where I live. Doubtless many other factors like rain, warmth and land management are important but CO2 is probably in there too.
    On balance it is undoubtedly a good thing, but I’m going to teach them nettles a lesson.

    • As an old cooked stinging nettle eater I can say they deserve new respect for use making various kinds of nano-particles. For example see free full text on-line of (2016) “Characterization of silver nanoparticles synthesized using Urtica dioica Linn. leaves and their synergistic effects with antibiotics.”

    • Fewer leaves are a crime against nature. More leaves are a crime against suburban kids who would rather be goofing off than tidying up the back yard.

  19. It’s not only the forest but river and bay grasses that are proliferating. Here in Tidewater Virginia we have seen grasses in the Chesapeake Bay increases to record levels.

    “Some aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere may actually be helped by the rising carbon dioxide levels that are causing global warming, researchers suggest.” (Note that these “researchers know that rising CO2 levels are causing GL).

    While the “researchers” say “Pollution smothered more than two thirds of the Bay’s grasses during the 1960s and 1970s, and the grasses have been up and down since then. Some scientists worry that rising temperatures from global warming will kill off much of the Bay’s southern grasses (a species called eelgrass). But other researchers, including Richard Zimmerman, a professor of ocean and atmospheric sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, have concluded that rising carbon dioxide levels in the water actually feed the growth of many underwater grasses. Rising CO2 levels in the bay waters that we might see over the next 50 to 100 years look like they should be able to offset the negative effects of temperature and allow sea grasses to survive even perhaps better than they are now,” Zimmerman said.

    Maybe CO2 “pollution” isn’t so bad after all.

    • More life is just as bad as less life. To contemporary climate doomsayers, all change is bad. One iota of difference from say, 1750 (the date Bill Nye, the Science Guy chose as the Perfect Climate Moment) is a disaster.

      Everything in the modern world has to be turned upside down until the Perfect Climate Moment can be regained. If it can’t be regained soon, or if anything gets better on its own without climate busybodies’ approval, well then, the data will just have to falsified.

      • Tom,

        The Anti-Science Guy didn’t go back nearly far enough to find the ideal global climate. It was far too chilly in AD 1750.

        They call it the Holocene Climatic Optimum for a reason, so I’m going with 3218 BC. Or, better yet, during the Eemian Optimum, c. 128,018 BC. Give or take a century or two.

        Note that the balmy Eemian Optimum occurred despite the lack of a Neanderthal-Denisovan Industrial Revolution.

    • Is it? This year’s forest fires, for all of their publicity and problems and expense, are very small areas compared to the tens of millions of sq kilometers of living forests.

      • Forest fires only count if you can blame them on some despised political or business interest managed by people who are still alive. For propaganda purposes, none of the fires you mention from the past ever happened. It’s as if they never existed.

        Never mind that the species composition of North America west of the Mississippi River, for both flora and fauna, has largely been shaped by repeated fire for millions of years, since well before Homo sapiens crossed over here from Asia on the Alaska-Siberia land bridge. Well before Homo sapiens evolved in East Africa, if you really want to get down to it.

        For propaganda purposes, none of those geologic or biologic events existed, either. Acknowledging the Alaska land bridge would mean sea levels have risen and fallen without contemporary enviros’ advice or consent. NO! NO! NO! Admitting that modern man hasn’t ruined everything might throw thousands of doomsayers, quack remedy peddlers, and tort lawyers out of work.

        We can’t allow THAT!

  20. This is almost the worst news I’ve ever read. More tree growth? Nature reclaiming abandoned farmland? AHHHHH!!!!!! We’re verging on an incipient shortage of semi-desert. I can just FEEL it. Before you know it, there’s going to be too many leafy glades, too many babbling brooks, romping rodents, and chirping birds. And dire shortages of scorched earth, with only a few remaining rattlesnakes skulking about here and there.

    • Here we stand
      Like an Adam and an Eve
      The Garden of Eden
      Two fools in love
      So beautiful and strong
      The birds in the trees
      Are smiling upon them
      From the age of the dinosaurs
      Cars have run on gasoline
      Where, where have they gone?
      Now, it’s nothing but flowers

      There was a factory
      Now there are mountains and rivers
      You got it, you got it

      We caught a rattlesnake
      Now we got something for dinner
      We got it, we got it

      There was a shopping mall
      Now it’s all covered with flowers
      You’ve got it, you’ve got it

      If this is paradise
      I wish I had a lawnmower
      You’ve got it, you’ve got it

      Years ago
      I was an angry young man
      And I’d pretend
      That I was a billboard
      Standing tall
      By the side of the road
      I fell in love
      With a beautiful highway
      This used to be real estate
      Now it’s only fields and trees
      Where, where is the town
      Now, it’s nothing but flowers
      The highways and cars
      Were sacrificed for agriculture
      I thought that we’d start over
      But I guess I was wrong

      Once there were parking lots
      Now it’s a peaceful oasis
      You’ve got it, you’ve got it
      I miss the honky tonks,
      Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
      You got it, you got it

      And as things fell apart
      Nobody paid much attention
      You got it, you got it

      I dream of cherry pies,
      Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
      You got it, you got it

      We used to microwave
      Now we just eat nuts and berries
      You got it, you got it

      This was a discount store,
      Now it’s turned into a cornfield
      You’ve got it, you’ve got it

      Don’t leave me stranded here
      I can’t get used to this lifestyle

  21. We can rest assured that within a couple of months, indefatigable climate “scientists” will release a new study that shows this silver lining to have its very own cloud. It will (of course) be based on modelling without the use of actual data, and will look something like this:

    yes, there are more trees, but models show they contain less wood.

    Prophets of imminent disaster will be able to relax as another apparent benefit of climate change turns out to have been fabricated by denialists funded by the fossil fuel industry.

    • Not only less wood, but less sap and less of anything that might be useful.

      But indubitably more biomass, since it’s hard to deny photosynthesis.

      More CO2 inevitably means more glucose, basis of the terrestrial food chain.

    • Smart Rock
      “yes, there are more trees, but models show they contain less wood.”

      Prophets of imminent disaster will be able to relax as another apparent benefit of climate change turns out to have been fabricated by denialists funded by the fossil fuel industry.

      Today’s softwood lumber is growing so fast … (Queue, “How fast is it growing?”, from audience) … That the wood and construction engineers latest official strength tables list the new lumber as weaker than the older, slow-growing lumber!”

  22. Maybe it’s also because people have stopped randomly clearing land just to randomly clear land?

    What I remember from my childhood is that a land agency would buy tree and brush covered land then clear it off to try to re-sell it to developers immaterial of where it was because the only way to get a developer interested was to knock it all down, grub it all up and burn it off.

    • They still do that. Unfortunately.
      The first thing I’ve done with every house I’ve owned is start planting trees.

  23. MORE trees with MORE CO2 poisoning the atmosphere?

    Why, its almost as if CO2 isn’t a poison at all.

    Or did I wake up in a Seinfield-ish backwards episode or something?

  24. “The dataset we developed may be used to improve the modelling of land-use changes, biogeochemical cycles and vegetation–climate interactions to advance our understanding of global environmental change.”

    What for – when there’s

    Researchers using satellite data track[ing] the changes in various land covers to find that gains in forest area in the temperate, subtropical, and boreal climatic zones are offsetting declines in the tropics.

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