Gallery: Europe’s New Biomass Satellite Will Map Earth’s Forests And Ca...

Biomass satellite will evaluate tropical forests

Photo via Shutterstock

Though they cover 30 percent of Earth’s total land area, we know remarkably little about how much biomass and carbon are contained in the planet’s forests. A new satellite will be launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in an attempt to expand this area of knowledge, and learn more about the viability of current and future conservation tactics. The satellite, named Biomass, will use advanced sensors to map and monitor every tree-covered portion of the planet, “weighing” their biomass and hidden carbon. ESA scientists hope new data collected by the satellites will help researchers understand better the role trees play in the cycling of carbon on Earth and, by extension, the influence this has on the planet’s climate.

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