Scientists Develop First Satellite Deforestation Tracker for Whole of Latin America


WOOD PILE

Scientists develop first satellite deforestation tracker for whole of Latin America
by Staff Writers
London UK (SPX) Jun 21, 2012


This shows deforestation around the dry Chaco of Paraguay from 2004-2011. Credit: http://www.terra-i.org/Karolina Argote/Louis Reymondin.

An international team of researchers in Colombia, the UK, USA and Switzerland have developed the first ever system to monitor deforestation across Latin America in near real-time using satellite data. Preliminary results from the new system reveal that in parts of Colombia, deforestation has increased by 340 per cent since 2004; and over a million hectares of forest have been lost in the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay.

The new satellite system, known as Terra-i, is being launched this week in time for the Rio+20 UN environment conference, and is soon to be expanded to cover all tropical regions. Although Brazil has had a sophisticated near real-time deforestation monitoring system in place since 2008, until now there has been no equivalent for the rest of Latin America.

Terra-i has been developed to monitor changes land cover every 16 days and for every 250 metres on the ground, in order to help national governments, conservation organisations and those implementing climate-related policy to assess recent trends in deforestation and emerging hotspots of change.

The system uses data supplied by NASA’s MODIS satellite sensorand is the result of collaboration between the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the USA and South America, the School of Engineering and Management of Vaud (HEIG-VD) in Switzerland and King’s College London.

Deforestation can lead to widespread loss of biodiversity and also impacts the ‚ecosystem services‘ that foster a stable climate and secure freshwater supplies. However, in many parts of the world the scale and pattern of deforestation is infrequently and inconsistently monitored and this makes management of change very difficult.

Huge volumes of data need to be processed to detect land cover change at a 250m spatial resolution every 16 days. Moreover, separating real human-induced changes, such as deforestation, from changes brought about by natural seasonality and by droughts, floods or persistent cloud cover, has made the development of an operational monitoring system a real challenge.

The availability of MODIS imagery means that assessment of land cover change can be made in a geographically consistent manner between countries and also updated frequently.

The development of the Terra-i system was led Louis Reymondin, PhD student in the Department of Geography at King’s College London, supervised by Dr Mark Mulligan, in collaboration with CIAT and HEIG-VD and funded by TNC.

‚We developed a computational neural network and ‚trained‘ it with data from 2000-2004 to recognise the normal changes in vegetation greenness due to seasonal variation in rainfall in different areas,‘ said Dr Mulligan, who is attending the Rio+20 conference this week.

‚The network now recognises where and when greenness suddenly changes well beyond these normal limits as a result of deforestation. The system runs on data for every 250 square metres of land from Mexico to Argentina shortly after the data comes in from MODIS and highlights every 16 days the pixels that significantly change, writing these results to Google Maps for easy visualisation,‘ he said.

Preliminary data from Terra-i show that in Caqueta, Colombia for example, deforestation grew from around 4,880 hectares in 2004 to 21,440 in 2011, up by 340 per cent. Deforestation has grown significantly in the buffer zones of the Chiribiquete National Park where deforestation ratesincreased by 196 per cent from 2010 to 2011.

The Gran Chaco in Paraguay is the second largest forested area in South America. Terra-i found that between 2004 and 2010, over a million hectares of this area was deforested with a peak in 2009 of 454,700 hectares.

‚As we approach Rio+20 in which the world will define the targets that will guide us along the road to a more sustainable development, it is critical that we deploy the appropriate tools to carefully monitor and manage our landscapes,‘ said Dr Mulligan.

‚We need to ensure that we maintain enough farmland to feed the nine billion to come but we must also have protected natural landscapes that provide clean water, a stable climate, a refuge for biodiversity and space for increasingly urbanised populations to experience and appreciate the wonders of nature.

‚Achieving the right balance between intelligently intensive agriculture and protected natural environments across the world will be fundamental to achieving truly sustainable development and requires sophisticated, geographically detailed and timely tools such as Terra-i to support appropriate policy and decision-making‘.

Advertisements

  Pass The Robin Hood Tax: Small Change For Banks, Big Change For The Community   : Information Clearing House


Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood; a screenshot ...
Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood; a screenshot from the 1922 United Artists film Robin Hood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

   http://ahref=

Pass The Robin Hood Tax: Small Change For Banks, Big Change For The Community   : Information Clearing House.

The Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling for a tax of less than half of 1% on Wall Street transactions that could generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

A Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street will provide funding to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet by creating jobs and strengthening public services like health care, education and infrastructure at home while tackling AIDS, global health, poverty and climate challenges around the world

Click Here To Send Jamie Dimon a Message From Robin Hood

Jamie Dimon received a pay package of $23 million last year as C.E.O. of J.P. Morgan Chase. Dimon is about to receive a flood of emails from Robin Hood, announcing the launch of a new campaign with a huge coalition behind it. Send him one more right now!

Video Posted June 19, 2012

Sheriff Joe Arrests Six-Year-Old Undocumented Immigrant on Day of Obama’s Immigration Policy Shift | AlterNet


 Sheriff Joe Arrests Six-Year-Old Undocumented Immigrant on Day of Obama’s Immigration Policy Shift | AlterNet.

Joe Arpaio may be known as Sheriff Joe, but it’s also been proven he has little respect for the law if he deems it inconvenient to his beliefs. He is, of course, a frequent violator of civil rights (as viewed by the United States Justice Department) and used taxpayer funds to investigate his (debunked) conspiracy theory about Obama’s birth certificate. Distilled, it all boils down to Sheriff Joe being an archetypal old-style racist—one whose actions are consistently appalling despite never deviating from script. Of course, Arpaio’s actions were textbook the day President Obama announced he would soften his policies on deporting young immigrants:    Read more

By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 07:05 AM

 


 

 
 
 

The European Problem
The intrigue is at its height

By Bob Chapman

January 11, 2012 „International Forecaster“ —  The hand of the US elitists shows more each day in the decisions being made in Europe. Mario Draghi, ex-Goldman Sachs, Trilateralist and Bilderberg, is putting everything in place just the way the US elitists want. We are about to see full scale quantitative easing. One trillion in loans times fractional lending of 3 to 9 to whatever will give Europe the funds it needs indefinitely. Europe is going to be a rerun of what we have seen in the UK and US. In behalf of German voters who are 65% against such funding, Chancellor Merkel has refused to allow issuance of Eurobonds or an expansion of the EFSF. Draghi at the head of the ECB is now putting pressure on Mrs. Merkel to drop back to a more defensive position. The intrigue is at its height. If Frau Merkel gives into Draghi she and her party will not score well in the next election and may even lose political control. That could cause Germany to consider leaving the euro, which would destroy the euro zone. There are major dangers here and all the players are well aware of it. Agreement will take time and if it is not reached everything could short circuit, other than the fact that the Fed has put the funds in place. The other objective of getting Germany to whole-heartedly accept the bailout and stimulation is another matter. Confusion reigns even among the participants. The US, UK, France and their front men, Draghi, Monti and Papademos are all moving forward. The price will be very high from an inflationary standpoint, but to the elitists that isn’t even a consideration. They could care less. That is why you want to have your assets invested in gold and silver related assets. We could be headed toward another Weimer episode.
…. Please, read more there: International Forecaster/InformationClearingHouse

 

 

: Information Clearing House.

The state of Florida is trying to make it illegal to film or


The face of citizen journalism is changing rapidly with new
technology.

That’s a really good thing if you’re a citizen trying to expose
corruption and abuse, or if you’re just trying to become more
informed. It’s not so good for people trying to keep their dirty
secrets.

Legislators to the rescue!

The state of Florida is trying to make it illegal to film or
photograph farms in order to stem the tide of exposure of animal
cruelty in Big Agra factory farms.

Apparently, they’re not concerned the conditions and abuses these
animals suffer, they’re concerned about us and our cameras exposing
it…

Video:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/6524.html

The Ethical Thing To Do | Common Dreams


The Ethical Thing To Do | Common Dreams.

All Rights there

 

The Ethical Thing To Do

Cognitive Dissonance Dept: L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Hospital is denying a liver transplant to a cancer patient because he used medical marijuana – legal in California and prescribed by his Cedars doctor – to ease the effects of  chemotherapy.Hospital officials say Norman Smith, 63, must stop using pot for six months, undergo random drug testing, and do weekly substance-abuse counseling before they will consider putting him back on the list. The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access says Cedars-Sinai should change its policy. It’s tough to argue.

Why Is the Oakland Police Department Hiding the Truth About Its Violent Crackdown on the Occupy Protests? | | AlterNet


Why Is the Oakland Police Department Hiding the Truth About Its Violent Crackdown on the Occupy Protests? | | AlterNet.

New Analyses Show …


Made using figures reported in "OGJ 200/1...
Image via Wikipedia

New Analyses Show Oil and Gas Industry Is Inflating the Job-Creating Potential of 

Shale Gas Development




Food & Water Watch Study Shows One Job Claim Exaggerated by 900 Percent – all rights there –

WASHINGTON – November 15 – Will the oil and gas industry create 1 million new jobs for Americans, as its latest advertisement claims? The American Petroleum Institute and major oil and gas corporations are spending millions to convince Americans that with unrestricted access to natural resources, they can lift us from our economic slump in part by fracking our nation’s shale gas reserves. But Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development, a new set of analyses released today by the national consumer advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, finds that the oil and gas industry is exaggerating the capacity of shale gas development to generate jobs and economic opportunity for Americans, in one case exaggerating projected job creation by 900 percent.

“The oil and gas industry has tried to stand on three legs, claiming that shale gas is good for the environment, good for American energy security and good for the economy. The first two legs have already been kicked out, and our new analysis kicks out the third,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “They have no legs left to stand on.”

A 2011 report by the Public Policy Institute of New York State (PPINYS) claimed that by 2018, developing 500 new shale gas wells each year in five counties in New York would create 62,620 jobs. Food & Water Watch closely examined the PPINYS report and found it riddled with flaws; in fact, the economic forecasting model that PPINYS used actually only supported a claim of 6,656 jobs. PPINYS inflated the job-creation potential of shale gas development by almost 900 percent. According to Food & Water Watch, even the corrected PPINYS jobs projection is overly optimistic because it fails to account for negative effects that shale gas development would have on other key parts of the economy, such as agriculture and tourism.

Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development examines employment data, revealing that opening up five counties in the southern tier of New York to shale gas development can be expected to generate a net gain in employment of only about 2 jobs per well. This calculation, derived from data on actual employment, is in stark contrast with the forecast of 125 jobs per well in the PPINYS report. According to Food & Water Watch, an employment gain of just 2 jobs per shale gas well does not justify the inevitable costs to public health, public infrastructure and the environment that the industry would bring to New York.

Across the United States, shale gas development has generated a barrage of costly consequences:

-To date, over 1,000 cases of drinking water contamination have been reported near shale gas development sites around the U.S.

-In 2008, a fracking wastewater pit in Colorado leaked 1.6 million gallons of fluids, some of which contaminated the Colorado River.

-In Wise County, Texas, properties with fracking wells have lost 75 percent of their value.

-In 2009, Pennsylvania regulators ordered the Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation to cease all fracking in Dimock, Pa., after three spills at one well within a week polluted a wetland and endangered fish in a local creek. The spills leaked 8,420 gallons of fluids that contained potential carcinogens. The state fined the company $240,000, and it cost more than $10 million to deliver potable water to the affected homes. A legal battle has now ensued over who should be responsible for providing Dimock residents with clean water.

-Scientists have found that 25 percent of the hundreds of chemicals used in fracking can cause cancer, 37 percent can disrupt the endocrine system and 40 to 50 percent can affect the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems.

-Fracking wells in Pennsylvania, a state with many active sites, are expected to create 19 million gallons of wastewater this year, yet many municipal treatment plants lack the capacity to treat fracking wastewater in part because it often contains radioactive elements.

Many of the flaws in the PPINYS report come from a series of studies led by Timothy Considine of the University of Wyoming. His series of studies have informed many evaluations of the economic potential of shale gas development by policymakers, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Shale Gas Subcommittee.

The industry’s jobs projections are used to make the case for deregulation, but the oil and gas companies’ recent record tells a different story. According to a report released in September by Congressman Ed Markey (D-Ma.), ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips, all involved in shale gas development, paid their executives a total of nearly $220 million and recorded $73 billion in profits in 2010. However, the Big 5 oil companies reduced their global workforce by a combined 4,400 employees that same year.

“While President Obama’s recent move to delay his decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline is a sign that his administration is attuned to public concern about the negative effects of tar sands, we hope he will not replace it with shale gas development,” said Hauter. “The oil and gas industry has exploited our economic woes to promote shale gas, yet actual employment data shows that it is not a cure-all for our nation’s economic challenges; the money to be made from shale gas development will mostly just benefit oil and gas executives.”

Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development is available here.

###
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

News: Fukushima Fallout Fears over Japan Farms etc.


Temperature predictions from some climate mode...
Image via Wikipedia

Fukushima fallout fears over Japan farms:
New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming   

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15691571

 

Frozen Planet won’t be shown in the U.S. as viewers don’t believe in global warming:    

An episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet documentary series that looks at climate change has been scrapped in the U.S., where many are hostile to the idea of global warming.   

http://bit.ly/vDoq9T

 

Court order allows Occupy Wall St. protesters back: –    

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear raided Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, evicting dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters from what has become the epicenter of the worldwide movement protesting corporate greed and economic inequality.   

http://bit.ly/v7gZa5

 

Police Clear Occupy Oakland Encampment, but Protesters Return:  Protesters returned to a downtown plaza Monday evening, after hundreds of police officers raided the Occupy Oakland encampment there early Monday, arresting 33 people and flattening tents.   

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/us/police-raid-occupy-oakland-camp.html