Forestry is one of the oldest industries in the world and has literally been a vital building block in the rise of our civilization. The industry still has a significant impact on the world by providing construction materials, paper, chemicals, and firewood. It has also recently been recognized for the vital part it plays in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Mapping of forest areas and keeping a record of specific parameters, of what can seem to be endless forests, can be a challenging task. Accurate knowledge of the physical, chemical and biological state of forests is essential in detecting changes which occur over time. With the advent of satellites, this monitoring has become a lot easier, and foresters are getting better data to make informed decisions.
Constant Forest Monitoring Via Satellites
Forest monitoring from space has a lot of advantages when seeking a profitable and sustainable forestry industry. Forest monitoring organizations and forestry companies both apply the use of various satellite data to back up a lot of their actions. Change analyses for such vast areas are almost impossible to conduct without this data. With large amounts of data, it is crucial to have optimized algorithms for the statistical analysis. This is commonly referred to as “big data analytics”. Aside from forest monitoring, this concept is used in a wide range of areas, such as advertisement, finance, scientific research, and betting, and we accept payments by echeck for this service to learn more about this.
It is worth mentioning that satellite data has one limitation when it comes to the mapping of singular tree volumes. Tree height, diameter, and stem density are some parameters which cannot be accurately captured by satellite imaging. Traditional ground-based monitoring systems are still used for this, even if it is time-consuming and expensive.
The use of satellite imaging technology in monitoring forest data provides in-depth images and therefore, is dominating in forestry practices. This technique has also seen a lot of changes in the last years, especially in making 3D views of the earth available. In 2018, NASA sent two satellites into space for effective monitoring of biomass. Both satellites were equipped with lidar sensors for full coverage of the earth, as well as for 3D imaging of forest structures. The ground observation method is as important as the satellite collection system since neither can function separately.
Understanding Earth’s Carbon Cycle Using Satellite Data
Forests contribute a great deal to the earth’s carbon cycle. This topic is now better understood with the help of carbon stock estimates, taken from the NASA project “Earth observation data”. The volume of carbon above ground is one of the most critical variables in the global carbon cycle. Using satellite data, scientists have created a global map which evaluates the amount of wood in our forests. It is important to note that the commercial value of an area is also estimated from the same project.
The rate of urban sprawl is leading to an increase in forest fragmentation and deforestation. This is a significant source of greenhouse gases. By equipping satellites with sensors such as the ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus), they get the ability to locate such activities. Also, thanks to geospatial technologies and the use of geographic information systems (GIS), scientists can monitor the state of the world’s forests. Satellite images and GIS mapping also gives support to fire and emergency personnel, for quick response to emergency situations.