Continental scale carbon stocks of individual trees in African drylands

  • Released Wednesday, March 1st, 2023
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:18AM
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Using commercial, high-resolution satellite images and artificial intelligence, a team of NASA-funded scientists mapped almost 10 billion individual trees in Africa’s drylands in order to assess the amount of carbon stored outside of major forests. The result is the first comprehensive estimate of carbon density in the Saharan, Sahel, and Sudanian zones of Africa.

Complete transcript available.

The visualization begins with a view of the study region in northern Africa with climate zones indicated. The camera zooms into a region of satellite imagery and individual trees are identified, along with the amount of carbon stored in each tree. The camera then pulls out to reveal total tree carbon in the study region.

Still image - view of the study region in northern Africa with climate zones indicated. hyper-arid (0-150 mm/year)arid (150-300 mm/year)semi-arid (300-600 mm/year)sub-humid (600-1000 mm/year)

Still image - view of the study region in northern Africa with climate zones indicated.

hyper-arid (0-150 mm/year)

arid (150-300 mm/year)

semi-arid (300-600 mm/year)

sub-humid (600-1000 mm/year)

Still image - Individual trees identified in satellite imagery, color mapped by the amount of carbon they contain

Still image - Individual trees identified in satellite imagery, color mapped by the amount of carbon they contain

Color bar legend for carbon per tree, ranging from 10 kg carbon per tree (dark purple) to 1000 kg carbon per tree (bright yellow)

Color bar legend for carbon per tree, ranging from 10 kg carbon per tree (dark purple) to 1000 kg carbon per tree (bright yellow)

Color bar legend for total carbon, ranging from 0 Mg Carbon per hectare up to 2000 Mg Carbon per hectare

Color bar legend for total carbon, ranging from 0 Mg Carbon per hectare up to 2000 Mg Carbon per hectare



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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


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