Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 11:49AM
Drew Wolfe

Tropical Forests Suffered 2nd-Worst Loss Of Trees On Record Last Year

"Last year marked another record year of loss for tropical forests."

"About 39 million acres of tree cover disappeared in 2017 – an area the size of Bangladesh – according to data released Wednesday by the World Resources Institute. That amounts to 40 football fields every minute for a whole year, making it the second-worst year of tree loss on record. The worst was just a year earlier, in 2016."

"To gauge the amount of loss, thousands of NASA satellite images from 2001 to 2017 were analyzed through artificial intelligence at the University of Maryland. Then, researchers at the World Resources Institute's Global Forest Watch assessed the changes in tree cover."

"'In some ways [our research] is not noteworthy,' Mikaela Weisse, a research analyst at WRI, told NPR. 'Things have been continuing as they have been. What's depressing is that there has been a lot of international and national commitments to reduce deforestation, and we are hoping this will have an impact, but the data is showing that it's not having as much of an impact as we hope.'"

"The report presents a bleak picture: Some areas are experiencing prolonged loss of lush forest, while new areas are becoming hot spots. "Places that haven't been on our radar so much are all of a sudden going through this major transformation," Weisse said."


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