Maps From Space Show World's Disappearing Forests

Landsat satellite data reveal that nearly three times more forest cover was lost than gained worldwide in the 21st century.

The view from space puts vanishing forests in a pretty stark light.

Data from satellite images reveal that forest cover losses far outstripped forest regrowth in the first dozen years of the 21st century.

The globe gained 800,000 square kilometers (about 500,000 square miles) of forest canopy in that time, but lost 2.3 million square kilometers (about 1.4 million square miles) in other areas between 2001 to 2012. (See "Rain Forest: Incubators of Life.")

The maps, released Thursday by the journal Science, offer forestry officials a global view of tree loss and point to the environmental costs to people and animals from forest-cutting.

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