1 Tahrcountry Musings: A Map Showing the Height of the World's Forests

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Map Showing the Height of the World's Forests

Michael Lefsky, the remote sensing specialist from Colorado State University has produced a first of its kind map that shows in detail the height of the world's forests, using satellite data. The data was collected using NASA's ICESat, Terra, and Aqua satellites.
 LIDAR that's capable of capturing vertical slices of surface features was also put to use. LIDAR is the only instrument that can penetrate the top layer of forest canopy and provides a fully-textured snapshot of the vertical structure of the forest.
The data shows that the world's tallest forests are in the Pacific Northwest of North America and portions of Southeast Asia. Redwoods and sequoias have the tallest canopies well above 40 meters. The height of tropical rain forests is around 25 meters. In boreal forests the canopy is less than 20 meters.
It is hoped that the data generated would help us to build an inventory of how much carbon the world's forests store and how fast that carbon cycles goes through ecosystems and back into the atmosphere.


Claudia Lawrence said...

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Mohan Alembath said...

Thank you Claudia