Sunday, March 20, 2016

China's Forest Recovery Shows Hope for Mitigating Global Climate Change

Much of the land in this Chinese community has been converted to forest from cropland through the government's Grain to Green program. (Credit: Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability) Click to Enlarge.
China's sweeping program to restore forests across the country is working.

The vast destruction of China's forests, leveled after decades of logging, floods and conversion to farmland, has become a story of recovery, according to the first independent verification published in Friday's Science Advances by Michigan State University (MSU) researchers.

"It is encouraging that China's forest has been recovering in the midst of its daunting environmental challenges such as severe air pollution and water shortages," said co-author Jianguo "Jack" Liu, Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability and director of MSU's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS). "In today's telecoupled world, China is increasingly connected with other countries both socioeconomically and environmentally. Every victory must be measured holistically, or we aren't getting a true picture."

Forests are crucial to ensuring soil and water conservation and climate regulation. The fate of forests in the world's most populous nation has global consequences by virtue of the country's sheer magnitude and its rapid development.

Read more at  China's Forest Recovery Shows Hope for Mitigating Global Climate Change

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