January 18, 2012
Tree Ent Census: Researchers Map Biomass In The US
Now I know why The Office takes place in Scranton; that's where all the paper is! Actually that's where a lot of trees are, but what do you think paper grows on? Taking a second look at this map, I'm not even sure if it's Pennsylvania that I'm looking at. It seems that NASA has some insider knowledge on a revision of state borders. That or they just don't know how to draw straight lines... This is a ridiculously awesome map of the US, indicating via chromatic gradient, where all the biomass is located. I know what you're thinking, "who went around counting all the trees"? What they actually did was accumulate data from multiple sources such as satellite images, space-based radar, and previously gathered ground data, and put it all together to create this neato visualization. The reason they did this was to create a baseline of where the Earth's bio-carbon is stored in order to understand the changes that will occur in the future. If looking at it wasn't cool enough, think about the fact that each pixel making up this image is a 30 meter by 30 meter piece of land that was analyzed for biomass content in order to create a usable resolution so that the affects of small changes such as a parking lot or a house could be detected. Science = dedicated.
Check out more details from NASA...
Where the Trees Are [NASA]