31 March 2015
With a little bit of luck, China has helped to reverse global forest loss despite ongoing large-scale deforestation in the tropics, according to recent research.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, reveal that worldwide vegetation has increased nearly a staggering 4 billion tons of carbon since 2003.
"The increase in vegetation primarily came from a lucky combination of environmental and economic factors and massive tree-planting projects in China," lead author Dr. Yi Liu from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said in a news release.
"Vegetation increased on the savannas in Australia, Africa and South America as a result of increasing rainfall, while in Russia and former Soviet republics we have seen the regrowth of forests on abandoned farmland. China was the only country to intentionally increase its vegetation with tree planting projects," he added.
However, at the same time, massive vegetation loss is still occurring in many other regions around the globe, with the greatest declines seen on the edge of the Amazon forests and in the Indonesian provinces of Sumatra and Kalimantan.
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