Could the Earth be getting greener? Satellite data say yes.

Despite decades of deforestation and environmental damage, a recent study published in Nature Climate Change found that, lately, the Earth has been getting a bit greener.

Researchers Yi Liu, Albert Van Dijk, and Pep Canadell discovered that between 2003 and 2012, the amount of vegetation above ground increased by 4 billion metric tons of carbon.

The new vegetation was mapped over a period of two decades using a method called passive microwave remote sensing, in which satellites measure radiofrequency radiation emitted from the Earth. Just about everything emits a small amounts of electromagnetic radiation in the same frequencies as radio waves, and these emissions carry information about the temperature and moisture content of the object emitting it. Using this data, scientists are able to tell what is and what isn’t vegetation. READ MORE.