China’s forest recovery shows hope for mitigating global climate change

China’s sweeping program to restore forests across the country is working. The vast destruction of China’s forests, levelled after decades of logging, floods and conversion to farmland, has become a story of recovery, according to the first independent verification.

Scientists used a unique combination of data, including the big-picture view of NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) annual Vegetation Continuous Fields tree cover product, along with high spatial resolution imagery available in Google Earth. Then they combined data at different scales to correlate the status of the forests with the implementation of the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP).

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