Scientists have made the unbelievable discovery of “lost” forests across the planet, covering an area around seven times the size of Texas. Biologists have released a new study which increased the global estimate of forest land by 1.2 billion acres.
“We found new dryland forest on all inhabited continents, but mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, around the Mediterranean, central India, coastal Australia, western South America, northeastern Brazil, northern Colombia and Venezuela, and northern parts of the boreal forests in Canada and Russia,” biologists Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow wrote of their study, which had an additional 28 co-authors.
There have been conflicting theories as to why these forests were previously “missing,” with statements saying that older satellite imaging technology was insufficient to capture forests with low tree density, while others have said that the land “greening” is a result of climate change.
“We were able to tie the greening largely to the fertilizing effect of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration by tasking several computer models to mimic plant growth observed in the satellite data,” co-author Ranga Myneni, said.
According to the Daily Caller:
“This increases current estimates of global forest cover by at least 9%,” reads the study’s abstract. Lowe and Sparrow say the increase in forest cover means forests hold up to 20 percent more carbon dioxide than previously thought
Patrick Michaels, a climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the study reinforces the argument that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are causing global greening, in contrast to the global browning predicted by climate models.
A 2013 study by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found “CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa.”