Advanced carbon-mapping could help slow deforestation in the Amazon

Advanced carbon-mapping could help slow deforestation in the Amazon

The immense jungle canopy of the Amazon simply looks like a muddled sea of green to the human eye when viewed from space, but satellites and other high-tech instruments can provide an infinitely more nuanced view of the biological Mecca, right down to the household level.

While that kind of technology seems more suited for the CIA, there’s another audience that could benefit even more from it: forest managers and scientists that’re looking to sequester as much carbon dioxide as possible, as the Amazon Rainforest absorbs a staggering amount of the carbon dioxide that’s emitted by humans and natural sources.

Unchecked logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, and fossil fuel exploration threaten to damage this crucial carbon dioxide sponge, which could have harsh consequences if not stopped. In order to combat this, scientists have published details on a new high-resolution mapping technique using satellite imagery and an airborne remote-sensing technology called Lidar.

“We found that nearly a billion metric tons of above-ground carbon stocks in Peru are at imminent risk of emission into the atmosphere due to land uses such as fossil fuel oil exploration, cattle ranching, oil palm plantations and gold mining,” said researcher, Greg Asner, as quoted by Telesur. “This new map provides the evidence needed to start negotiating in the carbon market on a bigger scale.”

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