New map reveals tropical forest carbon storage

New research from a NASA led team reveals the extent of carbon storage in the world’s tropical forest.

Carbon storage in tropical forests

Based on satellite and data gathered at ground level the map depicts the distribution of 247 billion tons of carbon across 75 countries. To put that in perspective:

about 10 billion tons of carbon is released annually to the atmosphere from combined fossil fuel burning and land use changes.

According to the study forests in Latin America hold 49% of these carbon reserves, with Brazil alone at 61 billion tons, almost equalling the entire carbon stock of Africa – 62 Billion tons

As the NASA press release explains, deforestation is a major contributor to carbon emissions – accounting for 15-20% globally. This research provides a baseline for scientists to keep track of this.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/Winrock International/Colorado State University/University of Edinburgh/Applied GeoSolutions/University of Leeds/Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux/Wake Forest University/University of Oxford

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