Scientists discover billions of trees in unexpected places
Today’s Video of the Day the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center describes a new technique for mapping the location and size of trees growing outside of forests.
Using this method, the scientists discovered billions of trees in dry regions where they were not expected to be found. The research will ultimately lead to more accurate global measurements of carbon storage.
“Our objective is to see how much carbon is in isolated trees in the vast arid and semi-arid portions of the world,” said study co-author Compton Tucker. “Then we need to understand the mechanism which drives carbon storage in arid and semi-arid areas. Perhaps this information can be utilized to store more carbon in vegetation by taking more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”
“From a carbon cycle perspective, these dry areas are not well mapped, in terms of what density of trees and carbon is there,” said study lead author Martin Brandt. “It’s a white area on maps. These dry areas are basically masked out. This is because normal satellites just don’t see the trees – they see a forest, but if the tree is isolated, they can’t see it. Now we’re on the way to filling these white spots on the maps. And that’s quite exciting.”
Video Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center