First-ever map reveals where tropical forests store carbon

kristy Earth Systems Science

EarthSky // Blogs // Earth Posted Jun 04, 2011 First-ever map reveals where tropical forests store carbon

Researchers looked at three million measurements of treetop height, along with ground data, and calculated the carbon held in tropical forests.

A NASA-led research team has created the most precise map ever produced showing the amount and location of carbon stored in Earth’s tropical forests by analyzing satellite data. The map provides a baseline for ongoing studies and serves as a resource for managing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The study was published May 30, 2011 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new map, created from ground- and space-based data, shows -for the first time – the distribution of carbon stored in forests across more than 75 tropical countries. Most of that carbon is stored in the extensive forests of Latin America.

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