Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Technology Needed To Monitor Rain Forest Destruction

Date:
January 14, 2009
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Human impact on tropical forest ecosystems has reached a "tsunami" stage, say scientists, and will require a new generation of sophisticated remote-sensing technology to monitor the changes. Roughly 1.4% of the world's tropical humid forests was deforested between 2000 and 2005, and that as of 2005 more than half of the forests contained 50% or less tree cover.

Human impact on tropical forest ecosystems has reached a "tsunami" stage, say scientists, and will require a new generation of sophisticated remote-sensing technology to monitor the changes. Speaking at a January 12, 2009 symposium "Will the Rainforests Survive? New Threats and Realities in the Tropical Extinction Crisis*," hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, Gregory Asner of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology presents new estimates of the global human impact on rain forests, including not only deforestation but also the extent of selective logging and forest regeneration.

Asner and his co-authors Tom Rudel of Rutgers University, Mitch Aide from University of Puerto Rico, Ruth DeFries of Columbia University, and Ruth Emerson from Carnegie compiled their estimates using data from satellite observations, published field surveys, and a sampling of Google Earth™ images. They highlight that roughly 1.4% of the world's tropical humid forests was deforested between 2000 and 2005, and that as of 2005 more than half of the forests contained 50% or less tree cover.

"Selective logging is more difficult to recognize and quantify than outright deforestation, so there have been few estimates of its impact," says Asner. "But we found that around 28% of humid tropical forests are undergoing some level of timber harvesting."

"The overall impacts of selective logging on biodiversity are far less dramatic than the wholesale losses incurred by deforestation," he adds, "but nonetheless it can fundamentally alter forest habitat."

The researchers also found that at least 1.7% of humid tropical forests are in some stage of secondary regrowth, mostly in hilly or mountainous regions marginal for large-scale agriculture and ranching.

But Asner emphasizes that the precision of these estimates is limited by current technologies, especially considering the difficulty of resolving fine-scale vegetation changes. New technologies to resolve subtle forest changes, such as the new sensors being developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Carnegie, will be necessary as the rainforest "tsunami" continues to sweep through tropical ecosystems in the coming decades.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "New Technology Needed To Monitor Rain Forest Destruction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112201025.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2009, January 14). New Technology Needed To Monitor Rain Forest Destruction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112201025.htm
Carnegie Institution. "New Technology Needed To Monitor Rain Forest Destruction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112201025.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins