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NASA and Mongabay Create Global Forest Disturbance Alert System to Track Deforestation
Posted By Timon Singh On September 6, 2012 @ 11:09 am In carousel showcase,Conservation,environmental destruction,green gadgets,News | No Comments
A collaboration between NASA researchers at Ames laboratory  in California and the environmental news and watchdog site, Mongabay  has created a tool that tracks global deforestation—the Global Forest Disturbance Alert system . The online system works by compiling information of the Earth’s surface collected by orbiting satellites. By doing so, it looks for signs of forest loss down to five square kilometers. The system hopes to highlight the 50,000 square miles  of forest that are lost each year.
The Global Forest Disturbance Alert System , also known as GloF-DAS, will provide environmentalists with the ability to pinpoint areas that are being deforested on a quarterly basis. The satellite data is collected by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)  and then developed at NASA Ames Research Center by the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) ecosystem modeling team.
It is then compared to global vegetation index images, that were taken at the exact same time period each year in consecutive years. If it detects a change of more than 40% to an area of 5km x 5km, then it sends out an alert. Of course, seasonal variation has been taken into account in the product’s design.
“We hope the timeliness of these forest change observations will provide stakeholders in forest conservation more opportunities to make sustainable management decisions,” said Christopher Potter, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center.
The recently launched Indonesian  version of the application hopes to help local correspondents investigate some deforestation hotspots identified in the country. It is hoped GloF-DAS will improve transparency around forest use in Indonesia, which is experiencing high rates of deforestation due to mining, conversion for oil palm estates and pulp and paper plantations, and agriculture.
+ Mongabay 
via Fast Company 
Images: Mongabay and glennhurowitz 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/nasa-and-mongabay-create-global-forest-disturbance-alert-system-to-track-deforestation/
URLs in this post:
 Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com
 Ames laboratory: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/index.html
 Mongabay: http://www.mongabay.com/
 Global Forest Disturbance Alert system: http://rainforests.mongabay.com/deforestation-tracker/
 50,000 square miles: http://inhabitat.com/tag/deforestation/
 NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS): http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/
 Indonesian: http://inhabitat.com/tag/indonesia/
 + Mongabay: http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0530-glofdas.html
 Fast Company: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680464/a-new-nasa-tool-tracks-the-slow-destruction-of-our-trees?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+fastcompany/headlines+%28Fast+Company%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
 glennhurowitz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8490461@N07/
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