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      Determination of deforestation rates of the world's humid tropical forests.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Tropical Climate, Africa, growth & development, Trees, Spacecraft, Maps as Topic, Latin America, India, Humidity, Ecosystem, Conservation of Natural Resources, Carbon, Biomass, Asia, Southeastern, Agriculture

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          Abstract

          A recently completed research program (TREES) employing the global imaging capabilities of Earth-observing satellites provides updated information on the status of the world's humid tropical forest cover. Between 1990 and 1997, 5.8 +/- 1.4 million hectares of humid tropical forest were lost each year, with a further 2.3 +/- 0.7 million hectares of forest visibly degraded. These figures indicate that the global net rate of change in forest cover for the humid tropics is 23% lower than the generally accepted rate. This result affects the calculation of carbon fluxes in the global budget and means that the terrestrial sink is smaller than previously inferred.

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          Journal
          10.1126/science.1070656
          12169731

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