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Deforestation Data

Not always clear-cut

A new study shows that the deforestation has been much worse than we thought. 
According to geographer Do-Hyung Kim of University of Maryland, lead author of a new study published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the rate of tropical deforestation has risen by 62 percent between the 1990s and 2000s. 
This number is in stark contrast with the accepted conventional wisdom of UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which has argued in its 2010 report that the rate of tropical deforestation has in fact fallen by 25% in the same period. 
According to the AGU, the reason for this newly found discrepancy is the way in which data were gathered. While FAO's data was based on "a collection of reports from dozens of countries", Kim's estimate is based "vast amounts of Landsat image data which directly record the changes to forests over 20 years".
"Increasingly more mechanized" 
The geographer Douglas Morton of NASA explains this data by observing that "tropical deforestation has become increasingly more mechanized” ... “in the 60s, it was axes; in the 70s, chainsaws; and in the 2000s, it was tractors.” 
No matter which of the two estimates is closer to the truth, however, the message is clear. Tropical deforestation is happening very fast, to the extent that we deforest the area of a mid-sized country every year. These trees will not be coming back unless we fight back with mechanized reforestation. At BioCarbon Engineering, we are doing our very best to make that happen.