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NASA Monitoring Forest Patterns in North America and Eurasia


Did you know that NASA is closely using satellites to monitor trees around the world. There is so much trees can tell us, from Earth's biomass to area of mass tree blight to where our forests are healthy and flourishing. NASA researchers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland have teamed up to use current Landsat satellite data to study the changes in Northern forest extent. By looking at forest patterns and sparse and open canopy forests, what is happening to the trees can help us monitor change on a warming planet.

On September 12, 2018, NASA will launch its newest satellite, ICESat-2, the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satelite-2. This satellite will use an on-board laser system called ATLAS to measure the height of our planet. ICESat-2 will measure the height of trees across the planet with unprecedented accuracy. By combining the Landsat and ICESat-2 data on trees, NASA researchers will be able to build a much more robust data set that aides us in understanding how our planet is responding to a changing climate.

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