PerspectiveAtmospheric Science

Carbon from Tropical Deforestation

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Science  22 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6088, pp. 1518-1519
DOI: 10.1126/science.1223251

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How much carbon is emitted from tropical deforestation? Attempts to answer this question have generally relied on data from national inventories. More recently, sufficient satellite data have become available to provide independent estimates. On page 1573 of this issue, Harris et al. (1) report a global estimate of tropical deforestation emissions derived entirely from satellite data. For the period from 2000 to 2005, those emissions are much lower than previously reported.