Earth | Global Forest Change 2000-2012

How I See It

An important body of research mapped the changes in forests of the Earth. The work showed areas of forest loss and gain over the entire globe as mapped by Landsat satellites between 2000-2012. Each pixel of a Landsat image covers 30×30 meters, about the size of a baseball diamond. That makes the level of resolution quite good. The researchers analyzed 143 billion pixels in 654,000 Landsat images to compile the maps. Scientists from the University of Maryland, Google, the State University of New York, Woods Hole Research Center, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and South Dakota State University were part of the research team. Abstract in the November 15 issue of the journal Science.

Deforestation is a growing and very significant problem world wide. The biomass in our forests is huge. They contribute enormously to the processing of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Previous country to country comparisons have been difficult. Some…

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