Remote sensing will revolutionize the way we monitor trees • Earth.com

Remote sensing will revolutionize the way we monitor trees

03-07-2023

Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard describes the first comprehensive estimate of carbon density in the Saharan, Sahel, and Sudanian zones of Africa. In an effort to measure the amount of carbon stored across these drylands, a team of scientists used high-resolution satellite images and artificial intelligence to map nearly 10 billion individual trees. 

“The high spatial resolution (50 cm) combined with AI and field measurements used in this study is key to improving tree inventories in drylands,” said Pierre Hiernaux, a French researcher working for NASA. “The ever-increasing availability of very high-resolution satellite imagery will make it possible to assess carbon pools and their dynamics at the individual tree level on a global scale.”

“This study is exceptional because it is pioneering a type of approach that will revolutionize the monitoring of trees and forests on a global scale: in the short term, it will be possible to map the world’s trees from the centre of the Amazon to our schoolyards,” said INRAE researcher Jean-Pierre Wigneron.

“Many fields of application will become much more efficient and accurate, such as tracking carbon stocks, biodiversity, monitoring logging and protection against illegal forest degradation, in near real time.”

Video Credit: NASA Goddard 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

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