This article refutes the climate change denier claim that the slow increases in the planet’s forest cover is caused by increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Forests are increasing around the world because of rising incomes and an improved sense of national wellbeing say researchers.
The authors refute the idea that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are the key cause of the spread of trees.
As countries become better off, farmers focus on good quality soils and abandon marginal lands, the authors say.
As a result, trees are able to rapidly reforest these deserted areas.
The study highlights the fact that between 1990 and 2015 forest growing stock increased annually by 1.31% in high income countries and by 0.5% in middle income nations, while falling by 0.72% in 22 low income countries.
The study has been published in the journal PLOS One.