Monitoring deforestation in the Amazon • Earth.com

Monitoring deforestation in the Amazon

06-10-2021


Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard describes how the Landsat satellites help experts study changes throughout the Amazon rainforest, such as deforestation, in recent decades.

The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, but it is shrinking more and more each year.

From 2010 to 2020, the Amazon lost 8.4 million soccer fields of land to deforestation. This is the equivalent of 24,000 square miles, or about 10.3 million American football fields.

In the Brazilian Amazon alone, the amount of rainforest that has been lost is equivalent to the size of the state of California. 

Much of this clearing is taking place for agriculture, including industrial-scale cattle ranching and crops.

NASA scientists use satellite data to map land cover in Brazil. Based on the Landsat archive, the experts can pinpoint where the forest has been cleared and if the activity was legal. 

Video Credit: NASA Goddard 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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