Earth  ID: 13694

Tracking Amazon Deforestation

The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, nearly as big as the continental United States. But every year, less of that forest is still standing. Today's deforestation across the Amazon frontier is tractors and bulldozers clearing large swaths to make room for industrial-scale cattle ranching and crops. So far, the amount of area that's been deforested in the Brazilian Amazon alone is equivalent to the size of the state of California.

Scientists like Tasso Azevedo of MapBiomas and Doug Morton of NASA use satellite data to map land cover in Brazil with a historical perspective. Using the Landsat archive, they can precisely identify where the massive forest has been cleared and if it was permitted. The aim of MapBiomas is to enable better decisions for managing their natural resources.

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Landsat satellites have been consistently gathering data about our planet since 1972. They continue to improve and expand this unparalleled record of Earth's changing landscapes for the benefit of all.

Source Material


Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Lead Producer
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET): Technical Support
Alex Kekesi (GST): Lead Animator
Doug C. Morton (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Jeffrey Masek (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Harrison Bach (Intern): Editor
Harrison Bach (Intern): Producer
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Visualizer
Tasso Azevedo (Climate Observatory): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This item is part of these series:
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DLESE >> Biology
DLESE >> Human geography
SVS >> Landsat
DLESE >> Natural hazards
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Agriculture >> Forest Science >> Forest Conservation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Agriculture >> Forest Science >> Forest Management
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Terrestrial Ecosystems >> Forests
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Habitat Conversion/Fragmentation >> Deforestation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Fires
GCMD >> Location >> Brazil
GCMD >> Location >> Amazonia
GCMD >> Location >> South America
SVS >> Biosphere >> Forestry
SVS >> Forest Fires
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version