Amazon Deforestation

Sizing Up How Agriculture Connects to Deforestation
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Sizing Up How Agriculture Connects to Deforestation

Using satellite data from the past two decades, scientists are starting to pinpoint which crops and farming styles have lasting impacts on forests.

Published Aug 11, 2021

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Finding Gold Mining Hotspots in Peru
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Finding Gold Mining Hotspots in Peru

Researchers have created a satellite-based tool to help officials identify new activity.

Published Jun 16, 2021

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Satellite Senses Subtle Amazon Seasonality
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Satellite Senses Subtle Amazon Seasonality

An analysis of geostationary satellite data found a 10 to 15 percent increase in greening around the rainforest during the dry season.

Published Jun 1, 2021

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Fires Raged in the Amazon Again in 2020
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Fires Raged in the Amazon Again in 2020

Large numbers of deforestation-related fires burned in the Amazon rainforest, while uncontrolled wildfires blazed in savanna and grassland ecosystems in central Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

Published Feb 19, 2021

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Gold Rush in the Peruvian Amazon
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Gold Rush in the Peruvian Amazon

Gold mining pits line the rivers and cut into the rainforest.

Published Feb 7, 2021

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A New Tool for Tracking Amazon Fires
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A New Tool for Tracking Amazon Fires

Following a notable increase in fire activity in August 2019 and a gradual rise in deforestation, scientists have been watching for signs of how 2020 might shape up. Several worrisome signs have emerged.

Published Aug 19, 2020

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Reflecting on a Tumultuous Amazon Fire Season
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Reflecting on a Tumultuous Amazon Fire Season

The reality of science, statistics, and satellites is that a deep understanding of the causes, effects, and severity of a fire season takes time.

Published Mar 3, 2020

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Tracking Amazon Deforestation from Above
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Tracking Amazon Deforestation from Above

Satellites have played a key role in monitoring and reducing the rate of deforestation in the rainforest.

Published Dec 19, 2019

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Making Sense of Amazon Deforestation Patterns
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Making Sense of Amazon Deforestation Patterns

Decades of satellite data make it possible to map how deforestation has evolved over time.

Published Nov 21, 2019

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Detecting Invisible Plant Stress
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Detecting Invisible Plant Stress

A new tool helped detect water-stressed vegetation near some 2019 Amazon rainforest fires.

Published Nov 8, 2019

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Human Activities Are Drying Out the Amazon
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Human Activities Are Drying Out the Amazon

The atmosphere above the rainforest has become drier, increasing the demand for water and leaving ecosystems vulnerable to fires and drought.

Published Nov 6, 2019

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Mapping the Amazon
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Mapping the Amazon

In spite of its clear significance to the planet, the expansive region is a complex and challenging place for remote sensing scientists to study.

Published Sep 26, 2019

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Uptick in Amazon Fire Activity in 2019
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Uptick in Amazon Fire Activity in 2019

Satellites have detected an increase in fire activity early in the 2019 dry season in the southern Amazon.

Published Aug 23, 2019

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Tracking Peruvian Forest Loss from Space
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Tracking Peruvian Forest Loss from Space

The Madre de Dios region has a rich concentration of endemic species, but their habitats are being threatened by human activity.

Published Apr 19, 2019

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Brazil’s Carajás Mines
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Brazil’s Carajás Mines

The red-brown earth exposed by open pit mines contrast with the greens of the surrounding Amazon forest.

Published Feb 23, 2019

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Deforestation in Paraguay
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Deforestation in Paraguay

Roughly 20 percent of Gran Chaco’s forest has been converted into farmland or grazing land since 1985.

Published May 1, 2018

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Finding Fires in Peru
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Finding Fires in Peru

Peru’s intense fire season in 2016 saw burning extend into 11 of the country’s protected areas.

Published Feb 10, 2017

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Conditions Are Ripe for an Intense Fire Season in Amazonia
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Conditions Are Ripe for an Intense Fire Season in Amazonia

The 2015-16 El Niño has primed the rainforest and watershed for burning.

Published Jul 5, 2016

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Amazon Forest Fires
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Amazon Forest Fires

Astronauts caught a glimpse of rainforest being cleared for agriculture in Brazil.

Published Sep 22, 2014

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Landsat 8 Detects New Deforestation in Peru
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Landsat 8 Detects New Deforestation in Peru

Free, open-access imagery helps scientists monitor remote areas and protect tropical forests.

Published Nov 19, 2013

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Fire in the Xingu River Basin
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Fire in the Xingu River Basin

New maps of understory forest fires in the southern Amazon suggest there’s little connection between deforestation and understory fires. Some indigenous reserves where deforestation is minimal still have frequent understory fires.

Published Jun 8, 2013

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Expanding Deforestation in Mato Grosso, Brazil
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Expanding Deforestation in Mato Grosso, Brazil

Although forest clearing for pasture is the primary driver of Amazon deforestation in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, a new study led by scientists at the University of Maryland showed that large-scale mechanized agriculture, mostly for soybeans, is rapidly becoming a major force behind forest loss in the region.

Published Sep 21, 2006

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Deforestation in Brazil
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Deforestation in Brazil

Just months after coming online, the ASTER instrument captured a view of forest clearing in Rondonia.

Published Feb 1, 2001

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