Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WVPE is your gateway to green and sustainable resources in Michiana. Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is accomplished by finding a balance between businesses, the environment, and our society (people, planet, and profit).State, National and International resources on sustainability include:The Environmental Protection AgencyThe Natural StepSustainability Dictionary45 Sustainability Resources You Need to Know Explore ways to support sustainability in the Michiana area through the Green Links Directory.Sept. 17, 2019 from 2-3:30pm"Global Warming: A Hot Topic"Sept. 17, 19, 24, and 26All sessions are from 2-3:30pmGreencroft Goshen Community Center in the Jennings Auditorium1820 Greencroft Blvd.Goshen, IN 46526The event will look at possible solutions and suffering as well as consequences beyond warmer weather. The event will examine what other civilizations have or haven’t done when faced with environmental problems. Plus there will be an exploration of the biggest unknown in the climate system: What will the humans do? Paul Meyer Reimer teaches physics, math and climate change at Goshen College. The events are presented by the Lifelong Learning Institute. The Institute can be reached at: (574) 536-8244lifelonglearning@live.com

You May Be Surprised To Learn Which 2 Countries Are Making The Globe A Lot Greener

A landscape with a reforestation project in Gongxian County in Sichuan, China.
Eye Ubiquitous
UIG via Getty Images
A landscape with a reforestation project in Gongxian County in Sichuan, China.

The world is getting greener.

That's according to Chi Chen, a doctoral student in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. Chen has been mining data collected by an orbiting NASA camera that monitors green vegetation on Earth's surface, day by day.

This week, Chen and his colleagues published a new study showing that the amount of our planet's land surface covered by green leaves increased between 2000 and 2017.

The extent of the global greening is bigger than previously measured using other, less precise instruments. Even more interesting: Chen was able to pinpoint the causes of increasing — or decreasing — leaf cover in particular areas.

In some places, changes in leaf cover apparently resulted from weather and climate change. The growing season is getting longer in some temperate areas, and rising carbon dioxide levels may be producing bigger, leafier plants.

One large area of Brazil lost vegetation. "I personally checked the data, and that's because of drought," Chen says.

The most striking changes, though, were the result of human decisions in China and India. Both countries have been getting a lot greener.

Molly Brown, a geographer at the University of Maryland, has seen this greening up close. "These are really good examples of how policy can really make a difference," she says.

The greening of India, Brown says, comes from a huge expansion of irrigated agriculture: "Instead of having just crops when it's raining, they also have a whole six months of cropping and greenness when it's not raining."

This version of greening isn't really so great for the environment, though. The irrigation drains groundwater, vegetation is wiped away at harvest time and the extra fertilizer farmers use releases greenhouse gases.

In China, though, about half of the new leaf cover that Chen detected appears to be the result of a massive reforestation effort. It's a government-sponsored attempt to prevent catastrophic dust storms that resulted from earlier deforestation.

"They are really doing a good job," Brown says. They have a large and comprehensive program of tree growing, tree planting, tree maintenance."

Those trees likely will stay in place, capturing dust and also carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas. They'll store that carbon in wood and roots and soil, doing their part to slow global warming.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.