Brazil's Controversial Belo Monte Dam Project To Displace Thousands in AmazonScientists analyzing satellite data have found the world’s vegetation has expanded despite deforestation in some regions. The results were published Monday in the journal, Nature Climate Change.

Nearly 4 billion tons of carbon have been added to plants above ground since 2003. Most of the growth has resulted from tree-planting programs in China, forest regrowth in former Soviet states and high rainfall in African, Australian and South American savannas. At the same time, there has been large-scale deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia.

Louis Verchot, a research director at the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research, said, “As ice and permafrost melt, they are being replaced by vegetation, and the tree line is moving north as the Arctic warms”. Vegetation growth is also expected to increase due to rising CO2 in the atmosphere, known as the “CO2 fertilization effect”.

Verchot said the value of the study was that it put a number on the contribution of vegetation to moderating greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere.

“Hopefully this will lead to greater efforts to stop tropical forest loss and to promote sustainable use of ecosystems in ways that preserve enough of the carbon absorption function as we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere through fossil fuel burning.” – As reported by Reuters