New Interactive Tool Helps Track Earth’s Forests

November 14, 2013 7:04 PM

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New Interactive Tool Helps Track Earth’s Forests

Researchers primarily from the University of Maryland, along with Google, have created a new tool to help scientists monitor forest disturbance. The researchers have synthesized 12 years’ worth of satellite imagery into a maplike interactive tool illustrating recent changes in the extent of forest cover around the world. Their findings were published Thursday in the journal Science.

By providing a record of changes in forested areas across the globe, the tool can be used to help track threats to biodiversity, the effectiveness of policies that protect forest areas and the release of carbon long tied up in trees and other organic material, among other forest health issues.

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