Human Activity in China and India Dominates the Greening of Earth, NASA Study Shows

From NASA

Feb. 11, 2019

A map showing increases in leaf area per year, represented in green. India and China stand out with large areas of dark green.

Over the last two decades, the Earth has seen an increase in foliage around the planet, measured in average leaf area per year on plants and trees. Data from NASA satellites shows that China and India are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries. Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago, and data from NASA satellites has revealed a counterintuitive source for much of this new foliage: China and India. A new study shows that the two emerging countries with the world’s biggest populations are leading the increase in greening on land. The effect stems mainly from ambitious tree planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.

The greening phenomenon was first detected using satellite data in the mid-1990s by Ranga Myneni of Boston University and colleagues, but they did not know whether human activity was one of its chief, direct causes. This new insight was made possible by a nearly 20-year-long data record from a NASA instrument orbiting the Earth on two satellites. It’s called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, and its high-resolution data provides very accurate information, helping researchers work out details of what’s happening with Earth’s vegetation, down to the level of 500 meters, or about 1,600 feet, on the ground.

A world map showing the trend in annual average leaf area, in percent per decade (2000-2017)

The world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago, as shown on this map, where areas with the greatest increase in foliage are indicated in dark green. Data from a NASA instrument orbiting Earth aboard two satellites show that human activity in China and India dominate this greening of the planet. Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

Taken all together, the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.

“China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation – a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation,” said Chi Chen of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, in Massachusetts, and lead author of the study.

An advantage of the MODIS satellite sensor is the intensive coverage it provides, both in space and time: MODIS has captured as many as four shots of every place on Earth, every day for the last 20 years.

“This long-term data lets us dig deeper,” said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley, and a co-author of the new work. “When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to more leaf growth in northern forests, for instance. Now, with the MODIS data that lets us understand the phenomenon at really small scales, we see that humans are also contributing.”

China’s outsized contribution to the global greening trend comes in large part (42%) from programs to conserve and expand forests. These were developed in an effort to reduce the effects of soil erosion, air pollution and climate change. Another 32% there – and 82% of the greening seen in India – comes from intensive cultivation of food crops.

Land area used to grow crops is comparable in China and India – more than 770,000 square miles – and has not changed much since the early 2000s. Yet these regions have greatly increased both their annual total green leaf area and their food production. This was achieved through multiple cropping practices, where a field is replanted to produce another harvest several times a year. Production of grains, vegetables, fruits and more have increased by about 35-40% since 2000 to feed their large populations.

How the greening trend may change in the future depends on numerous factors, both on a global scale and the local human level. For example, increased food production in India is facilitated by groundwater irrigation. If the groundwater is depleted, this trend may change.

“But, now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models,” Nemani said. “This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action.”

The researchers point out that the gain in greenness seen around the world and dominated by India and China does not offset the damage from loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia. The consequences for sustainability and biodiversity in those ecosystems remain.

Overall, Nemani sees a positive message in the new findings. “Once people realize there’s a problem, they tend to fix it,” he said. “In the 70s and 80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn’t good; in the 90s, people realized it; and today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That’s what we see in the satellite data.”

This research was published online, Feb. 11, 2019, in the journal Nature Sustainability.

Bar chart showing that China and India are leading the increase in greening of the planet, due to human activity

Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

For news media:

Members of the news media interested in covering this topic should get in touch with the science representative on the NASA Ames media contacts page.

Author: Abby Tabor, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley

Last Updated: Feb. 11, 2019

Editor: Abigail Tabor

HT/KcTaz

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77 thoughts on “Human Activity in China and India Dominates the Greening of Earth, NASA Study Shows

  1. More prosperity leads to more care of the environment. Same pattern repeating itself all over the world. We should be advocating the opposite of the Green New Deal.

    • Indeed.
      Left apparently wants to see environmental destruction on a global scale never seen. Just eliminate fossil fuels, or alternatively make them so expensive,so that most crops can’t be planted and harvested except for the very wealthy.

      Of course China and India have no intention of letting that happen to their populations. Funny then why the West’s Rich Elites embrace making fossil fuels extremely expensive.
      The answer is a hungry population can be controlled with government handouts. A once prosperous middle class, reduced to serfdom, has to wait for its food ration handout.
      And a government that controls the means of food production controls the population.

      The Hunger Games vision of Western society is the end game for the Climate Scammers.

      • “Let them eat insects.” There should be plenty around once the far east starts eating more meat and less insects. Funny how The World Turns (my stomach)

      • “Capitalism is where bread waits at the store for you to show up and buy it.

        Socialism is where you wait at the store for the bread to show up so you can buy it.”

    • I agree, but I thought we were. The only ones advocating it are those invested in it and the leftids who believe their lies.

  2. Scientific American disagrees:

    Earth Stopped Getting Greener 20 Years Ago
    Declining plant growth is linked to decreasing air moisture tied to global warming

    By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News on August 15, 2019

    Scientific American

    • Except Scientific American has seemed to abandon science about 20 years ago with the climate extortion and racketeering going on, at least in their climate propaganda.

      I thought that the ‘scientific consensus’ was that the atmosphere would have 4% more moisture in it per doubling of CO2. That may be an overall benefit, albeit may lead to some increased flooding in places. Probably in flood plains…

      I can’t prove anything but I like to think that a doubling/increasing of CO2 will be 2/3 beneficial and 1/3 detrimental in the scheme of things. Maybe much more beneficial overall than that. At worst, no one could prove that it isn’t at least 50% beneficial and 50% detrimental. When historians look back on this era, they will wonder how this particular CO2/emissions scam became so entrenched in society. If course they will also have the benefit of all the new data and science collected by 2100, and they will know why this scam has so much traction. Follow the money and the lust for power over others.

      • IPCC official, Ottmar Endenhofer, speaking in November 2010: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute, de facto, the world’s wealth by climate policy. … one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute, de facto, the world’s wealth…” “This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy, anymore.”
        From Der Spiegel

        The REAL answer to the question.

        • The Buffett Rule
          The billionaire was even more explicit about his goal of reducing his company’s tax payments. “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” he said. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
          Think about that one. Mr. Buffett says it makes no economic sense to build wind farms without a tax credit, which he gladly uses to reduce his company’s tax payments to the Treasury. So political favors for the wind industry induce a leading U.S. company to misallocate its scarce investment dollars for an uneconomic purpose. Berkshire and its billionaire shareholder get a tax break and the feds get less revenue, which must be made up by raising tax rates on millions of other Americans who are much less well-heeled than Mr. Buffett.
          This is precisely the kind of tax favoritism for the wealthy that Mr. Romney’s tax reform would have reduced, and that other tax reformers want to stop. Too bad Mr. Buffett didn’t share this rule with voters in 2012.
          From the WSJ

          • And now for those who missed it the first time…
            Poland Bans Wind Turbines in 17 years!
            Now we have the nation of Poland examining the health damages of Wind turbines. They have discovered that the low frequency noise given off by wind turbines, affects cellular development and mimics heart problems.
            And don’t think you can block these low frequency vibrations with a normal sound barrier. The lower the frequency, the thicker the barrier needs to be. For these very low frequencies, the barrier NEEDS to be 17 meters THICK! The lady who did the study says she wouldn’t live within 17 kilometer’s of a wind turbine!
            They are going to force REMOVAL of ALL wind turbines in 17 years! Check this out, https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=poland+%2Cwind+turbines and read to the end and check the comments of Sommer, and watch the YouTube video for a real education in the subject

            rst time…

    • Except Scientific American has seemed to abandon science about 20 years ago with the cult of the new climate religion that has evolved since the the ice age scare of the 1970’s, at least in their climate propaganda. It is straight up extortion and racketeering now, on a global level. And at many different levels for many ulterior motives.

      I thought that the ‘scientific consensus’ was that the atmosphere would have 4% more moisture in it per doubling of CO2. That may be an overall benefit, albeit may lead to some increased flooding in places. Probably in flood plains…

      I can’t prove anything but I like to think that a doubling/increasing of CO2 will be 2/3 beneficial and 1/3 detrimental in the scheme of things. Maybe much more beneficial overall than that. At worst, no one could prove that it isn’t at least 50% beneficial and 50% detrimental. When historians look back on this era, they will wonder how this particular CO2/emissions scam became so entrenched in society. Of course they will also have the benefit of all the new data and science collected by 2100, and they will know why this scam had so much traction. Follow the money and the lust for power over others.

    • 1) Global warming was supposed to increase air moisture. That’s the positive feedback that is supposed to drive all the scary forecasts. By itself CO2 is incapable of creating more than about 0.7C of warming per CO2 doubling.
      2) NASA’s data disagrees with the claims that the greening has stopped.

    • Steve, That SciAm article last year is based on this paper: Yuan, W, et al, 2019. Increased atmospheric vapor pressure deficit reduces global vegetation growth. Science Advances , Vol. 5, no. 8, eaax1396. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax1396. Their claim is that relative humidity has declined, and that has slowed plant growth.

      However, that seems to contradict this paper: Keenan, TF et al, 2016. Recent pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 due to enhanced terrestrial carbon uptake. Nat Commun, 7, 13428 (2016). doi:10.1038/ncomms13428.

      If terrestrial carbon uptake is increasing, how can it simultaneously be true that global vegetation growth has plateaued or even slowed?

      I wonder whether Yuan et al might have confused cause and effect. Most plants don’t get their water from the air, they get it from the soil. Lower humidity is associated with lower plant growth rates, but that’s because it is also correlated with soil moisture levels, and because lower plant growth rates reduce transpiration, thereby reducing humidity.

      What’s more, as atmospheric CO2 levels increases, plants’ water requirements decrease, due to the reduced stomatal conductance and transpiration needed to absorb the needed CO2 from the air. So when CO2 levels are rising you can get reduced transpiration and thus reduced humidity without a reduction in plant growth rate.

      A 2017 paper (Cheng, L., et al. Recent increases in terrestrial carbon uptake at little cost to the water cycle. Nat Commun 8, 110 (2017). doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00114-5.) reports that the global increase in transpiration due to increased foliage has been offset by a decrease in transpiration due to improved water use efficiency, resulting in almost no change in net transpiration.

      • That’s right. NASA is mostly in the measurement business here, not modeling. They observed the greening, then they and others set out to explain why it’s happening where it’s happening. Sounds almost like real science, even if many of them had probably hoped to find plant die-offs to blame on humanity.

    • That’s really just an opinion piece. The title is “Earth Stopped Getting Greener 20 Years Ago”.
      “Since then, more than half of the world’s vegetated landscapes have been experiencing a “browning” trend, or decrease in plant growth, according to the authors.” I’d like to see them prove that based on satellite data. They should base such a claim on field data.

      “Climate records suggest the declines are associated with a metric known as vapor pressure deficit—that’s the difference between the amount of moisture the air actually holds versus the maximum amount of moisture it could be holding. A high deficit is sometimes referred to as an atmospheric drought.” Nice theory but is it proven? Here in the USA northeast I see forests growing better than ever. I’ve been a forester for 47 years in Massachusetts. From what I can tell, there is no “browning” other than what might happen from prevalent forest pathologies. It’s a bit warmer and wetter and the trees love it. Invasive species love it to- but that’s another issue.

      Such claims shouldn’t be made and published in Scientific American without definitive research based on field data and after peer review.

    • Steve Case
      It’s funny and revealing how the Luddite-Malthusians grub around and flail desperately to find ways to hide the massive benefit of CO2 greening. They tried “the plants have less protein”, that was falsified by abundant data, now they’re trying “it stopped 20 years ago” when it hasn’t stopped but us continuing apace. Your climate death cult is only able to accept bad and dystopian news about the environment. Any good news seems like an irritant or toxin, evoking a strong avoidance reaction.

    • What bullshit, do you actually believe that? The most important part of their idiot narrative is the feedback loop that could not possibly happen at all without extra water vapour from heating oceans and atmosphere.
      I have no doubt these same people predicted crop disasters etc due to lack of rain, and yet the opposite has occurred. If you look at the many excellent articles on this site there will be one on the massive bounty of crops due to extra CO2, or ask any farmer, especially hydro farmers, legal or otherwise, they all pump extra CO2 to grow their crops for vastly superior results, and they are pumping in CO2 at about 900-1500 PPM I believe as after that the law of limiting returns starts to make extra too expensive for the increasingly small incremental improvement.
      So I would say 900-1500 PPM CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is about what we should be trying to achieve. All plants evolved at these kinds of CO2 saturations or more and I notice when I have had a look around Power stations there doesn’t seem to be any life deficit there…in fact quite the opposite, especially in the warm waters supporting one of these things…masses and masses of huge and powerful fish in the waters surrounding coal fired power stations. Not Burnsian three eyed fish either, just fish that are enjoying the benefits of CO2 levels and water temps closer to what they evolved in.

    • … and attributed the changes to mass planting of trees etc … didn’t bother to check for timing of any programs to plant trees in the two countries. I’ve seen documentary on China’s greening program, surely India has one (or more) … but if one were studying the subject and, say, wanted to do a regression – you’d put in dummies for the dates of programs on/off and include CO2 concentration … IF you wanted to find out what was causing the greening more precisely. IF.

  3. The researchers point out that the gain in greenness seen around the world and dominated by India and China does not offset the damage from loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia.

    There’s data that says the exact opposite.

    Tropical rainforests are among the biggest contributors to the global greening boom. WUWT

    Global greening doesn’t fit the alarmist narrative so they bend themselves into pretzels trying to prove that it doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter.

    The alarmists, SJWs, etc. are flooding the internet with low quality crap and it’s hard to find the good stuff even when you know exactly what you’re looking for. I thought it was called google bombing but that’s something else. There must be a name for the phenomenon. In this case, doing a search specifying WUWT still gets reliable results. Thank goodness for WUWT.

    I noticed the phenomenon when I was trying to find something Jordan Peterson said. All I could find were sites claiming to debunk Peterson. It’s not just Google, the same thing happens with DuckDuckGo. It seems to be a signal to noise problem.

    • “I noticed the phenomenon when I was trying to find something Jordan Peterson said. All I could find were sites claiming to debunk Peterson. It’s not just Google,”

      Think about this: The Washington DC Deep State Elites want the whistleblower’s name to be kept anonymous; the Whistelblower who accused President Trump of committing impeachable offenses in his telephone call with the new Urkanian president and was the source of the charges for impeachment.

      There is no law that requires that the Whistleblower’s name be anonymous. This is strictly a requirement of the DC Elites (mainly the Left), and all the other DC elites fall into line and conform to the requirement. Even the conservative Fox News Channel will not say this man’s name, even though everyone knows who he is and it is not illegal to do so.

      Republican Senator Rand Paul submitted a question during the Senate trial of Trump and Senator Paul named the Whistleblower in the question, although he only gave the name, he did not connect the name with the whistleblower in the text of the question. Just the name. Yet the Chief Justice of the United States, who was presiding over the trial and whose job was to read the questions of the various Senators to the assembled masses, refused to read the name in public. The Chief Justice recognized the name and he knew he was the whstleblower and he conformed to the DC Deep State requirement and refused to name this person even though there was no legal restriction in doing so.

      And now we have Google/Youtube. Senator Paul posted a Youtube video yesterday where he named the whistleblower, and Youtube censored his video. So it appears that Youtube has an algorithm that knows the whistleblower’s name and knows not to allow it to appear in public. Like I said, everyone knows the name except the clueless public; kept clueless by the lying Deep State.

      Now how do you like that for DC Deep State control of our thought processes. The Deep State says don’t do it and the Elites fall in line, up to and including the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the biggest search engine in the world.

      That’s a lot of power when you can shut up a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and can have the biggest search engine in the world doing your bidding. Who is behind this curtain? Who wields this power? It’s not anyone on the Right of the political spectrum.

      • Tom, I think it’s ironic that you wrote all that without mentioning the name of the so-called “whistleblower” (Eric Ciaramella).

        In American jurisprudence there’s an assumption that justice requires that an accused person should have the right to confront his accuser, and dispute the accusations. For criminal prosecutions, that right is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Of course, that’s impossible if the accuser’s identity kept secret.

        Technically, an impeachment and associated trial by the Senate do not constitute a criminal prosecution. But they are intended to determine the guilt or innocence of a person accused of a crime, so impeachment and trial by the Senate is very similar to a criminal indictment and trial. It is an affront to justice that we could contemplate trying the President of the United States for alleged crimes, without extending to him the same rights guaranteed by the Constitution to anyone else tried for a crime in the United States.

          • “Roberts is compromised!”

            To a certain degreee. Supreme Court Justice Roberts is conforming to the consensus opinion.

            The “Consensus Opinion” is formed by the Leftwing Media. So Justice Roberts is just conforming to the consensus, as he sees it.

            Which just goes to show that the Leftwing Media sets the agenda for the United States, and Supreme Court justices and Fox News Channel and Google all genuflect to the opinion of the Leftwing Media.

            Note that the whistleblower’s name is already in the public domain having been published in at least two newspaper articles, yet to this very day, the anchors and reporters at the conservative Fox News Channel will not say his name, claiming Fox News has not been able to independently confirm who he is. A pathetic excuse for doing nothing. I imagine some of Fox’s opinion anchors would say the whistleblower’s name, but I assume they have been ordered not to do so by the corporation.

            So the organization that poses the greatest danger to all American’s freedoms, the Leftwing Media, is the one setting the social and political agenda in the United States.

            What happens if you don’t conform to the Leftwing Media agenda? You are publicly villified. So to avoid being publicly villified, Supreme Court Justicies, and Fox News Channel and Google all toe the Leftwing Media’s line.

            One of the most important things Trump is doing is destroying the credibility of the Leftwing Media by pointing out their constant daily lies to the American people. We must stop putting the Leftwing Media on a pedestal. They don’t deserve the elevation because they are a distinct danger to all our personal freedoms because they lie to the public in order to forward their leftwing political agenda. An agenda guaranteed to take away the freedoms of the people of the United States.

        • “Tom, I think it’s ironic that you wrote all that without mentioning the name of the so-called “whistleblower” (Eric Ciaramella).”

          Well, to tell you the truth, I would have named him, but I’ve only read his name once and I couldn’t remember the exact spelling so I thought it better not to get some innocent person involved if I misspelled the name. ::)

          I just did a search on the spelling you gave me and the first hit had his name.

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-was-biden-guest-at-state-department-banquet

    • “It’s not just Google, the same thing happens with DuckDuckGo. It seems to be a signal to noise problem.”
      I think DuckDuckGo uses Google’s results. The principal difference is that you remain anonymous and don’t get personalised results.

      • Thank you Tom for commenting on this subject. These suppression of information issues must be effectively dealt with and it seems no one is able to reverse this recent development.
        It will seriously impact our collective future if we don’t figure out a way to get beyond this form of censorship and social engineering.

  4. This should put the Green New Deal to sleep once and for all. But it won’t of course. The left will just deny, manipulate, and double down. Nevertheless, maybe during the reign of the NWO it will be China, and India, who will control the world’s food to be distributed by the State to sustainable cities, and the rest of that Agenda fear mongering bs.

    • China is illegally cultivating tens of thousands of acres of pluots (interspecific plum-apricot hybrids) without paying a cent to the inventor, a Mr. Zeiger from California, as they should!

      I’m glad China is greening up, but it’s just another example of China flouting intellectual property rights!

  5. “Members of the news media interested in covering this topic should get in touch with the science representative on the NASA Ames media contacts page”.

    That’s very funny Charles; a wicked sense of humor!!!

  6. If you ask me, it looks like central Canada is as green as anything on that map. You guys planting lots of trees up there?

    • That raises some interesting questions. The dark green area in Canada is mostly prairie farmland and I am not aware of any change in practices that would have dramatically altered greenness in that area. Meanwhile BC, which is mostly treed and should be greener because of CO2 fertilisation, is showing nada. I think there may be some serious shortcomings in their algorithm. Must be investigated carefully before citing.

    • Absolutely nitrogen plays a role & confounds the the theory elevated CO2 (eCO2) is more relevant to productivity of C3 plants than C4 plants. See free full text available on-line of : “Unexpected reversal of C3 verses C4 grass response to elevated CO2 during a 20-year field experiment.”

      Quote: “… biomass increased with N mineralization, more so at eCO2 … & more so in C4 than C3 plots ….”

      • That’s the recently concluded Jasper Ridge Climate Change Experiment, from Stanford University. They sought to find evidence that the benefits of eCO2 (elevated CO2) are countered by the warming effect of higher CO2 levels, so they set up a F.A.C.E. (“Free-Air Carbon Enrichment”) study, using wild grasses, to test that hypothesis.

        It is generally estimated that a doubling of CO2 should produce an average ground level irradiance increase (“forcing”) of 3.7 ±0.4 W/m², before feedbacks. (However, that’s probably too high: atmospheric physicist Will Happer has found evidence that CO2’s forcing is commonly overestimated by about 40%, and the measurements of Feldman et al 2015 indicate 2.40 ±0.72 W/m² per doubling, confirming Happer’s result.)

        Remember that number: 3.7± 0.4 W/m².

        So the Stanford folks installed heat lamps over their experimental grass plots, to test the effect of the expected increase in IR radiation on plants. So far, so good.

        But to stunt the growth of the wild grasses at Jasper Ridge, the Stanford researchers didn’t add a realistic 3 or 4 W/m². They added 80 W/m², which is equivalent to over twenty “doublings” of CO2. (Note: twenty doublings of CO2 isn’t physically possible, because converting all the oxygen in the atmosphere to CO2 would be only nine doublings. In reality, it is unlikely that mankind will ever drive outdoor CO2 levels up to even one doubling of the current level, which is about 412 ppmv.)

        I’m not kidding! Yet they still got their papers published in the most prestigious journals, and lots of credulous press in the mainstream media!

        When adding 80 W/m² proved insufficient to significantly stunt the grasses they were studying, they increased it to 250 W/m² — equivalent to about 67 doublings of CO2.

        The amazing thing is that the journals aren’t embarrassed to publish such drek.

        Here’s a photo of the heat lamps they used at Jasper Ridge:
        https://sealevel.info/jasper_ridge_heat_lamps1.png

        Notice the ladies’ windblown hair, in that photo. One of the problems with F.A.C.E. studies is that wind causes unnaturally large fluctuations in CO2 levels, which is why F.A.C.E. studies usually under-report the benefits of eCO2. OTC and greenhouse studies are more accurate. Prof. George Hendrey explained the problem, here, and here’s a paper about it.

        Excerpt:

        “Much of what is known about global ecosystem responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 has been gained through Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments of my design. All FACE experiments tend to underestimate ecosystem net primary production (NPP) that may occur at a particular increased concentration of CO2. This is because of the sensitivity of photosynthesis to rapid and poorly controlled variation in CO2 concentrations that are an inevitable result of the FACE technique. We are working on development of a NPP correction based on photosynthesis experiments in which CO2 is oscillated in a controlled way in a leaf chamber while measuring photosynthetic fluorescence.

        Another problem with the Jasper Ridge studies is that, in the long term, the biomass metric which they measured is limited by crowding. That makes the results of a many-year study of wild grasses inapplicable to agriculture. In the long term, unharvested grasses cannot continue to add biomass, no matter how excellent the conditions for growth, simply because there’s no room for it.

        We live in deeply unscientific times. Of course, not all fields are as bad as “climate science” and “grievance studies.” But the peer-reviewed academic literature famously reports that most peer-reviewed study results are wrong:

        Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, by John P. A. Ioannidis, 2005. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124.

        • Whoops! I wish to retract my comment.

          I remembered (and lambasted) the wrong paper. I should have checked before clicking “Post.”

          The paper that you referred to was about a different study, in Minnesota, not the Jasper Ridge project.

          Sorry about that!

  7. Be interesting to know the degree to which the relevant populations have made the transition from biomass to other forms of energy.

  8. I just called Mother Nature and she said that this is evil unnatural greening so it doesn’t count. She also said that everyone must give me all their money. Thank you.

  9. 1 US gal = 3.8 litres
    1 imperial gal= 4.55 litres.
    UK fuel price for diesel currently £1.3/ltr at the pump. This would equate to a US at pump price of £5.00/gallon or $6.57/US gallon.
    Despite this ridiculous price people still buy and use cars in the UK. To try and reduce the use of cars in the UK, the councils and government have introduced no parking areas everywhere, and then charge high parking fees in council owned car parks, people are forced to use. This is still not enough disincentive, so the government and councils decided to stop building any new roads and allow existing roads to deteriorate into pot holes and general decay.
    People continue to drive their cars.
    The councils are now introducing car free town centres or areas reserved for electric vehicles only. If you drive a fossil fuel car you can enter some areas but have to pay an additional charge.
    People still drive their cars.
    The people in Hawaii have some way to go before they reach the kind of lunacy we Brits already have to put up with.
    We still drive our cars.

    • This overview of UK fuel costs way supposed to be on the Hawaii article sorry for the confusion.
      I hope it posts there eventually.

  10. When I look at https://i2.wp.com/www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/global_tamo_2017_full.png I cannot understand the farm land relation referred to in the article.

    Look at California, it may be Green, but not green. Rather a bit to the brown side. Is California undergoing a depopulation trend, are they removing the trees, is farming diminishing or what?

    Denmark and Germany have much the same brownish color as California. Could the common factor be number of wind turbines?

  11. “Members of the news media interested in covering this topic should get in touch with the science representative on the NASA Ames media contacts page.”

    Nah, don’t be silly! I mean, how do you work CATASTROPHIC or DEADLY into increase in global leaf area?

    • OMG, less sun exposure reduces natural generation of vitamins D and K in humans, which will increase cancer rates! (And because they avoid this site like the plague, our little secret is safe!)

  12. @Charles, thanks for the article.
    Rama Nemani seems to me to be too focused on India/China.

    If you look at mid-west Australia, I find it very strange that in this wast emptiness, there is a random distribution of green and brown. How can that be? These gigantic areas are mostly unpopulated and not farmed.

    The change over the last 30 years seems to me to be dependent on the frequency of regrowth. Maybe the reflection spectrum used is more sensitive to new leafs, compared to older leafs.

    My reason for thinking that, is an event in January 2005 in southern Sweden where a storm, called Gudrun, felled 75,000,000m3 (about 250 million trees). This area is precisely the only significant area in Sweden showing green. Farming and forestry has not seen any noticeable change in neither quantity nor quality. The only change is, that the forests of a large area changed from having a lot of 50 year old trees to having very few older trees left. After the storm, some areas had to be seeded with birch instead of conifers, which may also have influenced the imaging.

    There are most likely many factors for greening and browning of various geographical areas and some of these factors may play different roles in different locations. Therefore I find one should be very cautious drawing general conclusions.

  13. “An advantage of the MODIS satellite sensor is the intensive coverage it provides, both in space and time: MODIS has captured as many as four shots of every place on Earth, every day for the last 20 years.

    Not sure why they said the above!

    MODIS is on the Aqua satellite which travels in the NASA A-train and it returns to the same spot over the surface of the earth once every 16 days.

    • There are apparently MODIS instruments aboard two satellites: Aqua and Terra. So four shots / day would be two shots / satellite / day.

      Wikipaganda’s Aqua page says its orbital period is 99 minutes.
      16 days = 16×24×60 = 23,040 minutes. 23,040 minutes / 99 minutes/orbit = 232.727 orbits.
      So 99 is apparently a rounded number.
      If it’s 232 orbits per 16 days then 23,040 minutes / 232 orbits = 99.310 minutes / orbit.
      If it’s 233 orbits per 16 days then 23,040 minutes / 233 orbits = 98.884 minutes / orbit.
      If it’s 234 orbits per 16 days then 23,040 minutes / 234 orbits = 98.462 minutes / orbit.

      The OCO-2 page (another A-Train satellite) gives a more precise orbital period: 98.82 minutes. The Aura page (another A-Train satellite) gives a period of 98.83 minutes.

      233 orbits in 16 days would be 14.5625 orbits/day.

      The Wikipaganda page for Terra gives its orbital period as 98.8 minutes, so it’s presumably on a very similar track, though not part of the A-Train group.

      Depending on the breadth of the track which the MODIS instrument views, there’s presumably some overlap between tracks, so a particular location on the surface might be seen twice (≈98.8 minutes apart) per satellite.

  14. ‘ For example, increased food production in India is facilitated by groundwater irrigation. If the groundwater is depleted, this trend may change.’

    In the Narmuda valley region (Central India), water tables rose and fell more than 30 feet annually (30′ to 70′). We had 3 pump platforms in the well. Groundwater in this area obviously recharges every monsoon. In the discussion of pumping out groundwater, the recharge rate for different environments is rarely mentioned.

  15. Models now say … less green!
    —————————–

    Billions of people in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa could be at risk from droughts as global warming threatens to shrink a tropical belt providing critical summer rain

    Regions under the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) are getting less rain
    The ITCZ, where rainfall is caused by converging winds, is a vital water source
    Without it, countries such as Belize will see crop failures and mass migration
    The international team looked at historical rainfall using stalagmites from caves

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8004895/Critical-rainfall-belt-risk-shrinking-global-warming.html

  16. But, now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models,” Nemani said. “This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action.

    Seems to me they have completed a circle with one-way information. People have greened Earth, without any assistance from scientists or from climate models, and the scientists can learn from that. So far so good. Now the scientists, with their climate models can tell people what to do. Hmmmmm. Or to put it another way: haven’t the people effectively told the scientists what they can do with their climate models.?

  17. The maps made from data from the CO2 measuring satellite show larger CO2 concentrations where forests containing broad leaf trees are located. This would seem to indicate that the greening of the Earth is the cause for the rise in the level of atmospheric CO2.

  18. Now they’ve screwed up the place so much, yeah, call it Silicon Valley. NASA Ames RC is at Moffett Field former NAS, in Mountain View, in the Santa Clara Valley. Once a rich agricultural region. Paved over. Lots less green.

    Used to be space between the cities. Orchards. Fields. Dairies. Now people are crawling all over each other. I lived later in Manhattan, NYC, under Giuliani as Mayor. Wow was that great. People knew how to get along relatively well with each other even if they didn’t like each other. That was a real people city.

    The Bay Area sucks now, and you all can have it. You pay most of your huge salary to live there. And how happy are you really? And if you do get fed up with it, you move somewhere with a decent economy not messed up by socialist Democrats. You bring your overly educated dumb as a box of rocks attitudes thinking you are superior because you brought a boatload of dollars from your overpriced dwelling back there. GTFOOH!

    They hive people impose their socialist rules on everyone else, not that it helps, but it makes them feel powerful as part of the winning group. They are weak, but in the group, they are kicking butt. Yeah, until the promises made by their masters come due and nobody else is left to suck dry. Bwahaha.

    They don’t understand biology. They listen to the Sierra Club.
    They don’t understand much about science. They believe Al Gore.
    Even if they do understand their piece of science, they miss the big picture.
    And the few who do see the big picture better keep their mouths shut, or their careers will be over.

    So it doesn’t matter how much better the Earth is doing being fertilized by more CO2. The party masters say it’s bad. Even NASA had to spin the OCO2 satellite results as somehow supporting anthropogenic nastiness, because it was too contrary to the narrative to admit biological activity almost completely swamped out human CO2 impacts.

    You can see the heartbeat of daily biology in the pulsing of CO2 erupting at night and sucked up through photosynthesis during the day. Keep in mind with the projections, the poles appear far far larger, and equatorial regions are far far smaller. If humans were the cause of the vast red CO2 in the northern hemisphere, there would be no dip in January. It would be worse then. The CO2 is from living things when there is not enough light to do photosynthesis.

    • I”m seeing a Landsat video when I expected to see OCO2. OK. I think I figured out how that Landsat video got there. The URL has a GET parameter called “list”, and that’s a list of related videos. Param “v” is the video I want. Here is the correct link stripped of the junk.

      • Good to see that NASA can find virtually no CO2 emissions from Australia. So Australia is not really the pariah that the activists insist it is.

        But I take exception to his statement that Australia emits large quantities of carbon monoxide from its forest fires. CO is a very flammable gas, and can hardly exist in the exhaust of a forest fire. Any CO emitted as a result of incomplete combustion would be instantly oxidized when it meets free oxygen over the fire area. Remember the fumes above a fire are very hot, easily enough to cause ignition of CO in the presence of O2.

  19. Strange, but one of the regulars over at Skeptical Science had to warn his comrades when he saw one of my comments there- that I have posted a few here too. Apparently that makes me a threat to their holy sanctuary. The dude who played spy over there has a goofy handle, “Eclectic”. At least I use my real name. Really strange because the word eclectic implies very broad minded- but I don’t see much broad mindedness in Skeptical Science. Their mantra is to be “skeptical of climate skeptics”. A year or so ago I posted a comment that maybe we should also be skeptical of those who are skeptical of climate skeptics- but of course that didn’t go over well. :-}
    Yuh, I’m a climate skeptic- meaning- it’s complicated and I don’t think anybody has it all figured out. But in this day and age, being a climate skeptic is like being a heretic in Medieval Europe. The climate Jesuits are gearing up for an Inquisition or so it seems- given that a Congresswoman from Florida has called for stopping climate skepticism on the internet. How dare y’all!

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