This image captures a “good news / bad news” situation in the Brazilian Amazon.
A study led by the University of Oklahoma, US, has found that total forest area is around 15% higher than estimates by the official Brazilian forest dataset (PRODES), but annual forest-loss rates were twice as high as predicted from 2001 to 2016.
There was a renewed increase of tropical forest area loss after 2013, driven in part by land use change and strong El Nino in 2015/2016, according to the paper published in the journal Nature Sustainability.
Researchers from the US, Brazil and China used optical and microwave images acquired by satellite-based sensors and advanced algorithms to improve annual maps of tropical forests in the Brazilian Amazon during 2000-2017.
“Monitoring, verification and reporting of tropical forest dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon have been a critical but challenging task for the research community and society-at-large,” says Oklahoma’s Xiangming Xiao.
“Available maps of tropical forest cover in the region have large uncertainty.”
Originally published by Cosmos as Keeping an eye on the Amazon
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
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