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Charles Krupa / AP

Substantial portions of Earth are increasingly covered in vegetation in response to increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use, a new study finds. But the increases have significantly different impacts on the planet's climate depending on whether it's happening in boreal forests in places like Canada and the Arctic or arid regions like the sub-tropics in and around the Horn of Africa.

What it means: Climate models are constantly being refined to reflect advances in science and improvements in data sets. This new study on leaf abundance will help predict impacts more accurately at the regional level.

For example: Increases in leaf abundance in boreal forests causes a significant increase in global warming, because that part of the Earth grows darker and doesn't reflect as much sunlight back into space. This sort of greening that reduces surface albedo could be adding an additional 10% to warming. However, in arid regions, this increase in leafy vegetation may actually be slowing the effects of global warming by up to 14% through a process called transpiration, in which water evaporates from leaves and enters the atmosphere.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.

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