Synopsis

New maps based on satellite observations of Earth reveal forests across the globe—where they are, and where they are declining. The boreal biome—the band of conifer forest in high latitudes—shows the greatest proportion of tree loss between 2000 and 2005, mostly due to lightning-induced fires. Of all nations, Brazil's forests saw the steepest decline. It is a hotspot of logging and fire-induced clearing in the tropical forest biome. The maps, which were produced by scientists from South Dakota State University and the State University of New York, allow forest monitoring in places that are difficult to access.