deforestation

GIF: Amazon Deforestation & Mountaintop Mining

Michael Data & Graphics, Interactive, Photo May 23, 2016

Another couple of pieces of gem from NASA Earth Observatory’s archive, first about the catastrophic mountaintop mining happening in West Virginia (1984-2015) and the other about deforestation (2000-2012) in the Amazon.

This time-series of images of a surface mine in Boone County, West Virginia, illustrates why this controversial mining method is also called “mountaintop removal.” Based on data from Landsat 5, 7, and 8, these natural-color images document the growth of the Hobet mine as it moves from ridge to ridge between 1984 to 2015.

This time-series of images of a surface mine in Boone County, West Virginia, illustrates why this controversial mining method is also called “mountaintop removal.” Based on data from Landsat 5, 7, and 8, these natural-color images document the growth of the Hobet mine as it moves from ridge to ridge between 1984 to 2015. See original post for animation of a lot more images.

 

By the start of this satellite time series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the frontier had reached the remote northwest corner of Rondônia. Intact forest is deep green, while cleared areas are tan (bare ground) or light green (crops, pasture, or occasionally, second-growth forest). Over the span of 12 years, roads and clearings pushed west-northwest from Buritis toward the Jaciparaná River. The deforested area along the road into Nova Mamoré expanded north-northeast all the way to the BR-346 highway.

By the start of this satellite time series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the frontier had reached the remote northwest corner of Rondônia. Intact forest is deep green, while cleared areas are tan (bare ground) or light green (crops, pasture, or occasionally, second-growth forest). Over the span of 12 years (2000-2012), roads and clearings pushed west-northwest from Buritis toward the Jaciparaná River. The deforested area along the road into Nova Mamoré expanded north-northeast all the way to the BR-346 highway. See original post for animation and more images.

The state of Rondônia in western Brazil — once home to 208,000 square kilometers of forest (about 51.4 million acres), an area slightly smaller than the state of Kansas — has become one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. In the past three decades, clearing and degradation of the state’s forests have been rapid: 4,200 square kilometers cleared by 1978; 30,000 by 1988; and 53,300 by 1998. By 2003, an estimated 67,764 square kilometers of rainforest—an area larger than the state of West Virginia—had been cleared.

GIF: Beetle Infestation Eats Up Forests in the Rockies

Michael Interactive, Photo May 18, 2016

Another interesting bird’s-eye view of the wipe out of large forests in the Rocky Mountains, via NASA Earth Observatory:

In Colorado, severe beetle infestations showed up in lodgepole pine forests about 50 miles west of Boulder and Fort Collins around 2000. Over time, the affected area grew so that by 2011 the infestation had spread east to ponderosa pine forests that were much closer to the two cities.

In Colorado, severe beetle infestations showed up in lodgepole pine forests about 50 miles west of Boulder and Fort Collins around 2000. Over time, the affected area grew so that by 2011 the infestation had spread east to ponderosa pine forests that were much closer to the two cities.

A single pine bark beetle is about the size of a grain of rice. But when the beetle population swells, it can have a major impact on forest health. And that’s exactly what has been happening across the Rocky Mountains over the past decade.