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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Earth from Space: Deforestation in Bolivia

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Hi Im 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 separateNormalised Difference Vegetation Indeximages

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.

Dont forget to like and subscribe to the European Space Agency channel.

I'm Romina Persi from ESA Web TV Studios.

Thank you for watching!

The Description of Earth from Space: Deforestation in Bolivia