Good News from the Amazon

Recent satellite studies indicate a major decrease in the rate of deforestation in the Amazon.  The journal Science reports:

The Brazilian government says that a preliminary survey by a low-resolution satellite shows that deforestation in the Amazon declined by 47.5% over the past 12 months. The figure is the largest decline since measurements began in 1988 and, if confirmed by data from a second set of satellites due out later this year, would amount to nearly a 90% drop in lost forest area since a 2004 peak.

“I think the results are pretty strong for a big additional decrease in deforestation,” says Greg Asner, a satellite expert with the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University. “I am really pleased to see it. I do not doubt that the trend is real.”

Deforestation harms biodiversity and also adds mightily to climate change. It’s nice to have some good news for a change!

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