NASA Selects Instruments to Track Climate Impact on Vegetation

August 12, 2014

Two new spaceborne Earth-observing instruments will help scientists better understand how global forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use change. This image of the Amazon rainforest is from a 2010 global map of the height of the world’s forests based on multiple satellite datasets.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Jim Kellner is currently one of seven Project Investigators involved in this NASA project, Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, which will put a LiDAR sensor on the International Space Station to completely map the world's forest structure. Currently there is no such sensor in orbit, and we lack this basic information about the planet's forests, which is contributing to the uncertainty that exists over the role of (for example) tropical forests in the global carbon cycle. The total effort is $94 million and runs through 2021.  

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