Hi I’m Romina Persi
and welcome back to Earth from Space.
This Copernicus Sentinel 2 image
shows deforestation in Bolivia
This image features an area in the Santa Cruz Department of Bolivia,
where the tropical dry forest has been cleared for agricultural use.
Since the 1980s, the area has been rapidly deforested
owing to a large agricultural development effort
where people from the Andean high plains
have been relocated to the lowlands of Bolivia.
The relatively flat lowlands and abundant rainfall
make this region suitable for farming.
In fact, the local climate allows farmers to benefit from two growing seasons.
The region has been transformed from dense forest
into a patterned expanse of agricultural land.
This deforestation method,
common in this part of Bolivia,
is characterised by the radial patterns
that can be seen clearly in the image.
Each patterned field is approximately 20 sq. km
and each side is around 2.5 km long.
Small settlements can be seen in the centre of each individual field in the image,
which typically contain a church, a school and a soccer field.
These communities are joined by a road network
depicted by the straight lines
that bisect the radial fields
and connect the adjacent areas.
Meandering streams and rivers can be seen flowing through the fields.
The long, thin strips of land in the top-right of the image
are most likely cultivated soybean fields.
This composite image
was created by combing three separate ‘Normalised Difference Vegetation Index’ images
from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.
The Normalised Difference Vegetation Index
is widely used in remote sensing
as it gives scientists an accurate measure of the health and status of plant growth
and allows for the detailed monitoring of fields such as these.
Rainforests worldwide are being destroyed at an alarming rate
this is of great concern
as they play an important role in the absorption of carbon dioxide,
and therefore, our global climate.
Tropical rainforests are home to a wide variety of plants and animals,
making it the largest pool of biodiversity outside of oceans.
Because of their unique perspective from space,
Earth observation satellites are instrumental
in providing comprehensive information
on the full extent and rate of worldwide deforestation,
which is particularly useful
for monitoring remote areas.
And that brings us to the end of this episode.
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I'm Romina Persi from ESA Web TV Studios.
Thank you for watching!