NASA maps how much carbon is stored in trees

Results show that 840m more tonnes of carbon is being absorbed than previously thought

Big Zero Show 2023

Scientists from NASA and the University of Copenhagen have used satellite images to make an estimation on how much carbon is being stored by trees in Africa.

Mapping the continent, they’ve found more trees than expected – with 10 billion spread across the mainland.

This not only increases the predicted amount of carbon that is being absorbed but will also allow researchers to better track the impacts of deforestation.

Just shy of 10 billion trees were found in the Sahel region of Africa, after more than 300,000 super high-quality images were scrutinised and surveyed.

Each species was identified using an AI program within one of NASA’s supercomputers.

Knowing which trees are on the drylands allows for a clear estimation of the level of carbon they absorb, showing that an extra 840 million tonnes of carbon is being stored.

This mapping technique will be used to develop up-to-date climate models and track carbon stocks.

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