This is a new tool in the warchest on the war against deforestation.
Everyone agrees that deforestation is a problem: it not only affects our biodiversity but our climate as well. However, gauging the impact of deforestation is not a simple task – measuring lost forest cover doesn’t does not tell you its impact on the affected area.
Or so it used to be. Scientists have now developed a new technique that capitalizes on the capability of satellite maps to track the attrition between forests and its impact on the environment.
The technique can show whether tree losses are serious enough to create larger distances between forests or whether they are relatively mild patch among trees.
As noted by Harvard’s Aaron Ellison in the New York Times, this new methodology will only do so much to tackle deforestation.
While existing methods, such as studying large forests as a series of smaller ones, can pick up some subtle loss of forest cover, the newer approach could help identify the most damaging instances of deforestation and offer suggestions as to which area needs the most help.
Although it is not the same as replanting forests or reduce the rate of deforestation, it could nevertheless draw your attention on areas which otherwise could get overlooked.