Sunday, 20 January 2013

Satellites Spy Beetle Attacks on Forests

A new computer program detected a slow-motion decline, and subsequent revival, of forests in the Pacific Northwest in recent years. But what was behind this mysterious pattern? 

"It was, as it turns out, bugs," said Robert Kennedy, a remote sensing specialist at Boston University who designed the computer program, in a NASA statement.

Kennedy's program, called LandTrendr, can detect minute changes in the health of forests by analyzing wavelengths of light given off by the landscape and recorded in satellite images. Different types of vegetation reflect different wavelengths of light, often in ways that the naked eye can't detect.

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