New Delhi: The perception across the globe is that more populous countries tend to exploit more natural resources and often lead to loss of plant life. However, a recent NASA study says it is not the case as the Earth has gotten greener in the last two decades and this positive change is driven by the most populous countries in the world - India and China. The NASA study attributes this positive impact to the agriculture-intensive practices in the two regions that have in turn increased the average leaf area every year since 2000.
Interestingly, the NASA study also points out that while India and China are responsible for almost 33 per cent of the planet's greening, the area covered in vegetation is just 9 per cent of the total global land under the same, according to the lead author of the study, Chi Chen, Boston University.
However, it is to be kept in mind that the study only looks at the increase or decrease in the green vegetation across the planet and not the overall greenness of a region. This is the reason why densely forested areas like the Amazon basin. Rama Nemani, a co-author of the study said that humans were actively contributing in the greening of the planet and this was a new revelation based on the 20 year data records using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer.
However in India, around 82 per cent of the greening has happened due to intensive cultivation of food crops and higher production of grains, fruits and vegetable to support the billion plus population is a major factor.