3D mapping forest ecosystems from space

NASA will be monitoring the world's forests

And now to some good news. In four years or so NASA will be monitoring the world's forests by creating 3D maps from laser pulses sent out from the ISS. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar will be a great new resource for studying Earths vegetation (forest biomass) and the carbon cycle. Since it is not well known how much carbon trees actually absorb and store it is not possible to date to determine how much carbon would be released if a forest were destroyed. NASA and partners at the University of Maryland hope that this new instrument can help reveal some new information on this issue. GEDI will sample all of the land between 50 degrees north latitude and 50 degrees south latitude covering most tropical and temperate forests. "GEDI lidar will have a tremendous impact on our ability to monitor forest degradation, adding to the critical data needed to mitigate the effects of climate change," Patrick O'Shea - University of Maryland Vice President (Nature World News)

Apparently the GEDI is expected to be completed and launched by 2018, something to look forward to!
illustration of 3D mapping
Illustration of 3D map of forest. Source: NASA


Out of the ashes into the fire

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