Image of the Day: map of every tree in the United States

About 30% of the Earth's surface is covered in forests and they hold up to 45% of the carbon stored on land. Scientists at NASA are trying to determine if our forests could store more carbon in the future, but first they need an inventory of the trees on our planet now.

So, how was this map created? Well…

Josef Kellndorfer and Wayne Walker of Woods Hole Research Center worked in conjunction with the National Geological Survey and US Forest Service to catalog a mix of data gleaned from space-based radar, satellite sensors, computer models, and old-fashioned tree counting. The map above shows the total amount of woody biomass in the USA. It's displayed at a 30 meter resolution, where every four pixels constitutes an acre and every ten represents a hectare.

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NASA Earth Observatory via Gizmodo

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