New Mapping Website Tracks Changes and Threats to Southern U.S. Forests

A new website and report by the World Resources Institute seek to change this and allow people to visualize the trends and drivers of change affecting southern forests.The southern forests of the United States, stretching across 13 states, from Texas to Virginia and from Kentucky to Florida, are incredibly productive. They yield 18 percent of the world’s pulpwood for paper and 7 percent of its industrial timber while comprising just two percent of the world’s forest area. These forests also provide a number of other critical ecosystem services, such as water filtration, erosion control, and climate regulation by sequestering carbon, not to mention the myriad opportunities they provide for people to hike, hunt, camp, and enjoy natural beauty.However, these forests are increasingly under pressure. SeeSouthernForests.org provides, for the first time, time series satellite maps dating back 30 years that reveal trends and changes in southern forests. The website also offers a rich trove of environmental data that can be overlaid on current and historical satellite images to give a clearer picture of what is happening to southern forests. For example, the maps below show the suburbanization trends of Atlanta (the city on the right) and Birmingham (on the left), from 1990 to 2010 (projected). The gray areas are urban and the yellow are suburban.READ MORE

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