Scientist creates first map of global forest heights from NASA data

Scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map of the height of the world's forests by combining data from three NASA satellites. The map will help scientists build an inventory of how much carbon the world's forests store and how fast that carbon cycles through ecosystems and back into the atmosphere.

Maps of local and regional forest canopy have been produced before, but the new map is the first that spans the entire globe using one uniform method. The map was based on data collected by NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, along with the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite, or ICESatMichael Lefsky, a remote-sensing specialist from Colorado State University, produced the final product. Lefsky describes his results in a journal paper to be published next month in Geophysical Research Letters.