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Sat Feb 18, 2012, 07:21 PM

NASA Map Sees Earth's Trees in a New Light [View all]

Last edited Sat Feb 18, 2012, 09:40 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-044
NASA Map Sees Earth's Trees in a New Light

Global map of forest height produced from NASA's ICESAT/GLAS, MODIS and TRMM sensors. The map will advance our understanding of Earth's forest habitats and their role in Earth's carbon cycle. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

February 17, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. - A NASA-led science team has created an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of Earth's forests. The map will help scientists better understand the role forests play in climate change and how their heights influence wildlife habitats within them, while also helping them quantify the carbon stored in Earth's vegetation.

Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Mass., created the map using 2.5 million carefully screened, globally distributed laser pulse measurements from space. The light detection and ranging (lidar) data were collected in 2005 by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat).

"Knowing the height of Earth's forests is critical to estimating their biomass, or the amount of carbon they contain," said lead researcher Marc Simard of JPL. "Our map can be used to improve global efforts to monitor carbon. In addition, forest height is an integral characteristic of Earth's habitats, yet is poorly measured globally, so our results will also benefit studies of the varieties of life that are found in particular parts of the forest or habitats."

The map, available at http://lidarradar.jpl.nasa.gov , depicts the highest points in the forest canopy. Its spatial resolution is 0.6 miles (1 kilometer). The map was validated against data from a network of nearly 70 ground sites around the world.

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Reply NASA Map Sees Earth's Trees in a New Light [View all]
OKIsItJustMe Feb 2012 OP
annabanana Feb 2012 #1
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