A new study founded by NASA and published on November 11 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows a 13-year decline in vegetation in the eastern and southeastern Amazon. While the decline was small, the area affected encompassed 5.4 million square kilometres, equivalent to over half the area of continental United States.
NASA satellites were fundamental in the study and were used to measure the "greenness" of the vegetation in the Amazon. Moreover, they were used in a new and innovative way.
Peru hosts about 75 percent of the western Amazon jungle. Deforestation is therefore a critical topic for the country. Now, a major milestone in conserving and managing the western Amazon has been reached by mapping more than 95 percent of Peruvian forests using archived satellite imagery.
Scientists say they've used satellitedata to measure for the first time the amount of water that rises and falls in the Amazon River floodplain each year. Ohio State University researchers say the information is critical to predicting floods and droughts that might be brought about by global climate change.