Kelly Sanford: Important tool to all

Friday, December 13, 2013

Important tool to all

A new high-resolution map showing the current state of forests in the world has been created with the help of Google Earth .

The interactive tool is posted on the Internet for public access and the ability to focus on local detail with a high level of accuracy, resolution of 30 meters stands .
The map traces the history of the foliage of trees worldwide from 2000 through 2012, based on 650 thousand satellite images Landsat 7.
At this time , the Earth lost a total forest area the size of Mongolia, to cover as many trees as six times a country like UK .
Brazil's progress in reducing deforestation was offset by losses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay , Bolivia , Zambia and Angola, according to a study published in the journal Science.
"This is the first map of forest change that is consistent globally and locally relevant ," says Matthew Hansen , University of Maryland, who led the project that produced the map.
"What a single computer would have taken 15 years completed in a matter of days using the Google Earth Engine digital tool."
The paper reports a number of important findings on forest changes between 2000-2012 based on satellite images.
Earth lost 2.3 million square kilometers of forest in that period due to logging, fires, pests and storms.
But the planet also won new 800,000 square kilometers of forest , representing a net loss of 1.5 million square kilometers in total.
Brazil showed the greatest degree of improvement in all countries to halve their annual forest loss between 2003-2004 and 2010-2011 .
The map , however, has a desface almost a year since records changes in this year , precisely when Brazil experienced an increase in deforestation rate compared to the previous year, as reported by the Brazilian government.
Indonesia , meanwhile , has the largest increase in deforestation , doubling its annual loss to 20,000 square kilometers in 2011-12.
In the U.S. , the rate of disruption of Southeast forests was four times higher than the jungles of South America: missed 31% of the forest cover.
Paraguay , Malaysia and Cambodia have the highest national rates of loss. In total , the disappearance of tropical forests is increasing at about 12,000 square kilometers a year , researchers say .
The map, which will be updated annually , can be a useful tool to assess the effectiveness of forest management programs tool.
You can also serve environmental groups to monitor the impact of deforestation , including threats to diversity, carbon storage and climate change .
"This new observation strategy can provide for the first time to a global- scale transparency to monitor progress towards a real reduction in deforestation ," says Daniel Zarin , the Climate and Land Use Alliance.

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