Where the Trees Are

The tree is one of the world's largest banks to store carbon to be emitted by natural processes and human activities. Forests cover about 30 percent of the planet's surface, and as much as 45 percent of carbon stored on land is tied up in the woods.
The question is, d
id global forests hold more or less carbon in the past? And could they save more in the future? Does it matter where the trees grow? Scientists really do not know. But before they could find, they will need a reliable inventory of what is grown today.
Josef Kellndorfer and Wayne Walker from the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) has recently worked with colleagues at the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey to create such an inventory for the United States. Map above is built from the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset (NBCD), released in 2011. It describes the concentration of biomass-size amount of organic carbon stored in the trunk, limbs, and tree leaves. Most vegetable reveals dark areas with growth, the highest densest forests, and most powerful.
More than six years, the researchers collected the national forest maps from space-based radar, satellite sensors, computer models, and a large number of ground-based data. This is probably the highest resolution and most detailed view of forest structure and carbon storage ever assembled for any country.
Forests in the U.S. is mapped to a scale of 30 meters, or about 10 pixels computer screen for each hectare of land (4 pixels per hectare). They divided the country into 66 zones mapping and mapping end segment 265 million from American soil surface. Kellndorfer they estimate that the mapping database includes measurements of approximately five million trees.
"Forests are a key element to human activity," said Kellndorfer. "Resource managers need to see the forest to disturbance-scale resolution of where the parking lot or developments or farms carved out by deforestation. We have to know how much we have, and where, in order to make good management and harvesting."

Learn more about the creation of Kellndorfer’s map and other attempts to measure Earth's forests in our newest feature story: Seeing Forests for the Trees and the Carbon: 
Mapping the World’s Forests in Three Dimensions.

NASA Earth Observatory map by Robert Simmon, based on multiple data sets compiled and analyzed by the Woods Hole Research Center. Data inputs include the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, the National Land Cover Database (based on Landsat) and the Forest Inventory and Analysis of the U.S. Forest Service. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.

Download the large image from this link
This article is taken from NASA:

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