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. The Amazon is surrounded by 7,000,000 km², of which 5,500,000 km² are covered by the rainforest. Therefore the region includes territory belonging to nine nations and 3,344 formally acknowledged indigenous territories. Making it a very terrain area also having the most species.
Video Credit: NASA Goddard