NASA satellite data are giving scientists insight into how large-scale deforestation in the Amazon Basin in South America is affecting regional climate. Researchers found during the Amazon dry season last August, there was a distinct pattern of higher rainfall and warmer temperatures over deforested regions.
LOOKING AT DEFORESTATION BY SATELLITE
This black and white image was created from the visible channel of the Geosynchronous Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). Deforestated areas are depicted in gray and white shading over Rondonia, Brazil. The lighter shaded area around Porto Velho is a naturally occurring region of savanna and the urban area. CREDIT: NASA & NOAA
COMPARING THE SIZE OF RONDONIAS DEFORESTATION TO FLORIDA
This GOES image superimposed over the outline of the state of Florida makes it easier to understand how much land (in gray and white) in Rondonia, Brazil has been deforested. CREDIT: NASA & NOAA
Researchers analyzed multiple years of data from NASAs Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). They also used data from the Department of Defense Special Sensor Microwave Imager and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites.
The study appeared in a recent issue of the American Meteorological Societys Journal of Climate. Lead authors, Andrew Negri and Robert Adler, are research meteorologists at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md. Other authors include Liming Xu, formerly of the University of Arizona, Tucson, and Jason Surratt, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
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