Google are working with Global Forest Watch to provide satellite images on an online platform that provides reliable and up-to-date data on forests worldwide, along with the ability to track changes to forest cover over time.
Launched a year ago by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the platform has brought an unprecedented degree of transparency to the problem of deforestation, pointing to ways in which big data, cloud computing and crowdsourcing can help attack other tough sustainability problems.
Read the full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/10/google-earth-engine-maps-forest-watch-deforestation-environment
A new NASA-led study shows that tropical forests may be absorbing far more carbon dioxide than many scientists thought, in response to rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas. The study estimates that tropical forests absorb 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of a total global absorption of 2.5 billion — more than is absorbed by forests in Canada, Siberia and other northern regions, called boreal forests.
“This is good news, because uptake in boreal forests is already slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years,” said David Schimel of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Schimel is lead author of a paper on the new research, appearing online today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.
Forests and other land vegetation currently remove up to 30 percent of human carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. If the rate of absorption were to slow down, the rate of global warming would speed up in return.
Read the full article here: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4424
The giant panda is one of the world’s most endangered species and efforts to restore its natural habitat are at the heart of conservation plans. At a time when two of Edinburgh’s most famous inhabitants are giant pandas from China, Forest Research is building international links with Chinese counterparts to help conserve the species in the wild.
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