Friday, 15 November 2013

Forests in flux – 2.3 million square kilometers lost in 12 years

A new study published this week in the journal Science shows in detail how the earth’s forests have changed and disappeared since 2000 . The research team, led by the University of Maryland, examined global Landsat data at a 30-meter spatial resolution to characterize forest extent, loss, and gain from 2000 to 2012.
Globally, 2.3 million square kilometers of forest were lost during the 12-year study period and 0.8 million square kilometers of new forest were gained. The tropics exhibited both the greatest losses and the greatest gains (through regrowth and plantation), with losses outstripping gains.
Brazil’s well-documented reduction in deforestation was offset by increasing forest loss in Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Zambia, Angola, and elsewhere. Intensive forestry practiced within subtropical forests resulted in the highest rates of forest change globally. Boreal forest loss due largely to fire and forestry was second to that in the tropics in absolute and proportional terms.
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While the Science article is behind a paywall, a series of images from the study are available HERE
(click image to enlarge)
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