Post #3: News article

China and India help make planet leafier

Wood

China and India, two of the world’s biggest polluters, are making it leafier – for now, a report says.

The greening effect stems mainly from ambitious tree-planting in China and intensive farming in both countries.

There are now more than 2 million sq miles of extra leaf area per year, compared with the early 2000s – a 5% increase.

Extra foliage helps slows climate change, but researchers warn this will be offset by rising temperatures.

Environment in multiple crises – report

Study looks at climate change impact on European forests

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

What exactly is happening?

Satellite data from the US space agency Nasa shows that over the last two decades there has been an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests.

The greening was first detected in the mid-1990s.

Scientists first assumed plants were being fertilised by the extra CO2 in the atmosphere and boosted by a warmer, wetter climate.

But they didn’t know whether changes in farming and forestry were contributing to the changes.

Thanks to a Nasa instrument called Modis, which is orbiting the Earth on two satellites, they can now see that both are clearly playing a direct part, too.

Why are China and India in the lead?

China’s contribution to the global greening trend comes in large part (42%) from programmes to conserve and expand forests.

Bandhavgarh National Park, India
Image captionDeciduous forest in India

The policies were developed to reduce the effects of soil erosion, air pollution, and climate change.

Another 32% of the greening there – and 82% of the greening in India – comes from intensive cultivation of food crops thanks to fertilizers and irrigation.

Production of grains, vegetables, fruits, and other crops has increased by 35% to 40% since 2000, so both nations can feed their large populations.

The future of the greening trend may change depending on numerous factors. For example, India may run short of groundwater irrigation.

On the global picture, scientists recently warned that CO2 in the atmosphere could reach record levels this year as a result of heating in the tropical Pacific which is likely to reduce CO2 uptake in plants.

Does this affect predictions of climate change?

Rama Nemani, from Nasa’s Ames Research Center, a co-author of the work said: “Now that we know direct human influence is a key driver of the greening Earth, we need to factor this into our climate models.

“This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action.”

The scientist who first spotted the warming trend, Prof Ranga Myneni from Boston University, reiterated a previous warning to BBC News that the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms.

But it’s acknowledged that although carbon uptake from plants was factored into Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models, it remains one of the main sources of uncertainty in future climate forecasts.

The research comes as a UK-based think tank IPPR warned that governments should not focus narrowly on any single environmental problem, but recognize the slew of environmental issues facing the world, including the loss of soil which is already reducing fertility in many areas.

This article is telling us about how China and India are making a large impact on the number of plants on the plant. It explains that because China and India have such a huge population, they have to grow a lot of food. To grow food you have to have plants. The second way that they are making the planet greener is by conservation projects. They enacted these programs to reduce the effects of soil erosion, air pollution, and climate change. This happens through the process of plants taking in co2 and putting out oxygen which decreased greenhouse gasses.

The issue that this article is addressing is basically global warming. It explains how global warming is being combated. We can infer from the information in this article that China and India both struggle with pollution. So the plants can help fix that.

 

Post #4: Legend

The Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝 yù huáng dà dì) is famously known as the leader of the Heavens in traditional Chinese folklore, especially in Taoism, and also in Journey to the West, the classic novel about Monkey King and Tang Monk on a dangerous quest for Buddhist scriptures. According to the Records of the Virtuous Jade Emperor, he was once the prince of the Shining Wondrous Kingdom (it sounds much more elegant in Chinese).

This is a kingdom that existed a long, long time ago. Under the rule of the King of Pure Virtue and the Queen of Gilt Moonlight, the kingdom was peaceful and happy. But the king and queen were growing old and still heirless. “When I am gone, who will take care of the kingdom?” worried the elderly king. So he ordered the kingdom’s Taoist priests to pray to the deities for a son. For over half a year, the king and queen also prayed twice a day without fail and without results.

Finally, their heartfelt appeal moved the Primeval Lord of Heaven. He created a child for the king and queen and then sent a Taoist deity to bring him to the couple.

That night, fast asleep, the queen dreamed of a saintly glow enveloping the palace. The Taoist descended from the sky, holding a beautiful, radiant infant. Kneeling in front of the saint, the queen begged, “My king has no heir. I plead for your compassion that you may grant us this child.” The Taoist replied, “This is no ordinary child. One day he will attain the highest level of Tao. You must take good care of him.” The queen thanked the deity and held out her arms to receive the boy. The deity passed the child over, but he weighed as much as a mountain and the queen awoke in shock. She hurriedly went to inform the king who, wondrously, had the exact same dream.

The next day, the queen discovered she was pregnant, and a year later, a beautiful prince was born. His body shone with golden radiance, lighting up the entire kingdom. When he came of age, he gifted the kingdom stores of food and gave treasures to the poor and the orphaned.

Some time later, the old king passed away. After the prince ascended the throne, he ruled with wisdom and benevolence. But he soon realized that all beings in his kingdom were suffering and had no way of breaking the cycle of death and reincarnation. He thus abdicated the throne and, leaving the kingdom to a virtuous minister, entered the mountains. There, he sought the Way, or the Tao, hoping to unravel the mysteries of the universe and break through the limitations of mortality and suffering.

He cultivated his spirit arduously for 3,200 kalpas to finally attain enlightenment and become a Taoist saint, and spent another 100,000,000 kalpas gaining enough virtue to become the ruler of Heaven. How long is one kalpa? About the time between a universe’s creation and subsequent recreation.

* * *

In the 16th century Journey to the West, the Jade Emperor is depicted as grand and austere, but also easily frightened and rather incompetent. He frets constantly, defers to his advisors on important decisions, assigns a monkey to “guard” a garden of magical peaches (in Chinese culture, monkeys are commonly associated with eating peaches instead of bananas), and generally seems capable of doing nothing besides issuing orders atop his throne. In many ways, he seems more like a human ruler than a divine one.

But all stories need colorful supporting characters. And all stories need, first and foremost, to entertain. And in a story that spans almost the entire Buddhist and Taoist pantheon—from Bodhisattva Samantabhadra to the Three Pure Ones—not every deity can be perfect.

Evidently, being the Emperor of Heaven is no easy task. Little wonder that, in Journey to the West, when Monkey King tries to argue that the Great Jade Emperor should abdicate his heavenly throne and hand the seat over to himself, a monkey who at this point is not even 400 years old yet, he gets crushed under a mountain for half a millennium.

 

In this legend the Emperor of China is about to die and has no one to take the throne for him. So he and his wife fast for half a year. The moon god grants them a son because of their devotion. This son is destined to achieve the highest religious level possible. After he takes the throne he sees that his people are suffering and he leaves the throne to go become more spiritual for a long time. He eventually achieves enlightenment and is able to rule heaven. In many Chinese stories the Jade Emperor is not perfect because it is not as entertaining for people to listen to.

This legend explains about the existence of the god of the Taoist faith. its story is that of a regular man who became perfect by study and cultivation. This legend tell us that the Chinese belived that the moon had significance and that regular people could become divine.

 

Post #2: Background

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13017877The population of China is 1.4 billion people. The population is concentrated in the coastal cities and is most most concentrated in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. These 5 cities have the same population as California and Texas combined. The capital of China is Beijing and the population is 21.54 million people. Another major city is Shanghai. Some things to do in Shanghai are, take a ride on the fastest train, go to the river, see green gardens, or go to Disneyland. The major language spoken in China is Mandarin Chinese. The media is strictly controlled and the economy is the second largest in the world. The main religions are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Taoism. The date “1911-12 – Military revolts lead to the proclamation of Republic of China under Sun Yat-sen and the abdication of the last Manchu emperor, but much of the country is taken over by unruly warlords.” Shows a pattern thought Chinese history, The people are tired of a bad life so they rebel and instate a new government. An interesting fact about China is that it is the oldest country in the world