It’s Earth Day — and climate change or not, the planet is still getting greener

Today is Earth Day, and everyone is going green — even Mother Nature!

Research published in Nature says the earth has gotten greener in the past two decades.

Scientists from Australia, Amsterdam and China studied vegetation over the past two decades and found that while tropical forests have declined, that loss was made up by increases in mixed forests and tropical savannahs and shrublands.

Since 2003, forests in Russia and China have expanded and tropical deforestation has declined, the report says, adding that the savannahs of northern Australia and southern Africa have also shown an increase in aboveground biomass carbon (basically, plant matter).

The loss of the rainforest is still something to be concerned about, the scientists said. But the increase in overall vegetation could help counteract climate change, since plants absorb the carbon dioxide that is released into the air via fossil fuels.

Yay for good ol’ Mother Nature!

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Lilee Williams is a freelance journalist and scientific study junkie based in Georgia. Email her at
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