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Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
Date:11/27/2007

y of the PALSAR data to differences in aboveground biomass is also being investigated in collaboration with the Amazon Institute of Environmental Research (IPAM).

The area that is mapped with the mosaic of images centers on the headwaters of the Xingu River, one of the Amazons mighty tributaries. The indigenous groups, soy farmers, smallholders, and ranchers that live in this region are top candidates to receive payments for reducing their carbon emissions. Where this has previously taken us several months to prepare, this new mosaic took only a few days, a turnaround window that carries real significance. says Woods Hole Research Center senior scientist Daniel Nepstad.

The mosaic marks the dawn of a new era in global Earth observation because it demonstrates the unprecedented ability of the ALOS/PALSAR to deliver high-resolution (~20 meters), regional- to continental-scale image acquisitions over narrow time frames (6-8 weeks) and through dense cloud cover and precipitation.

Ake Rosenqvist, who was instrumental in the design of the ALOS/PALSAR observation strategy at JAXA points out that given the regional-scale nature of climate change and environmental degradation, the importance of undertaking systematic observations cannot be overly emphasized. With this in mind, the PALSAR observation strategy has been designed to provide consistent, wall-to-wall observations at fine resolution of all land areas on the Earth on a repetitive basis, in a manner that has earlier been conceived only for coarse and medium resolution instruments. ALOS is a pathfinder in this context and we hope that other space agencies and satellite providers will follow suit.

Masanobu Shimada, who is the ALOS Science Project Manager at JAXA, states, We are very pleased to have ALOS in orbit and operating exceptionally well. One of the main objectives of the ALOS mission is to support global forest monitoring needs. We are excited to see th
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Contact: Elizabeth Braun
ebraun@whrc.org
508-540-9900
Woods Hole Research Center  
Source:Eurekalert

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