What is a Forest and How is Deforestation Affecting that Definition?
by katelynncoull on October 16, 2015 - 10:02pm
In this article Nasa looks at the earth's forests from their space flight center. From there they attempt to define what a forest is by looking at what it consists of and what its ecosystem is like. They also take deforestation into account when disscussing the idea of forests. When looking at the earth they were able to determine that "as much a 6 percent of Earth's land area, nearly equivalent to the size of China" (Rocchio, 2015) is covered in forested areas. This number is not exact because satelite technology is not perfect but it still bring the idea that this is not much compared to the size of the planet. This number is not exact because the researchers used different sofwares as well. Many "large international organizations vary substantially in their definition of forestd. The researchers found that when different satellite-based calculations use different definitions it can severely compromise forest are caluclations in regions that have less dense tree cover, such as savannahs and shrublands"(Rocchio, 2015). This tells us that the earth may havemore forests than we are lead to believe. This gives the optimist in me hope. Even though deforestation is yes a very severe issue that is affecting people everywhere, we may have more than we believe we have. After changing their definition of what a forest is the software was able to find "anywhere with at least 10 percent forest cover in some definitions, as opposed to at least 30 percent forest cover in others"(Rocchio, 2015). Projects like this one have started intiatives like REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), which many countries have followed. These initiatives allow the average person to see what we are doing to our home Earth so they take action.
I think projects like these are a great idea because they allow the public to see what is happening to our planet and makes them think to take action. Simiar to the man who started to photograph the glaciers and make projects out of them, it brings something that the average person sees every day and throws it into your face. I think more projects like these should come around to be able to showcase the enviromental problems in our society and bring them to light.
Rocchio L.E.P..(2015, October 7). Mission help answer: What is a forest?. Retrived from: http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2349/