Biomass in the Sahel: A Satellite Approach for the Future

EarthzineEarth Observation, Original

Ricardo Diaz

Santiago Suarez

David Barbosa

Laura MarÌ_a

Laura Gomez

MÌ_nica Moreno

Juan David Barrera


The project intends to analyze how the current biomass deficit in the region of the Sahel causes an increase in both global temperature and the amount of gases in the atmosphere. Satellite images and free movement research documents were used.

Scientists have found that even though biomass burning is often a natural process, it highly affects the amount of gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, greenhouse gases and the polluting agent black carbon. Even though these gases are supposed to be reabsorbed by vegetation in rainy seasons (satellite images provided by NASA show a high precipitation rate in the month of September), several organizations such as the NGO Action Against Hunger adduce that human activities have been interfering with this process. Satellite images that depict a biomass loss throughout years in specific regions across the Sahel are clear evidence of this fact. The research project, thus, intends to project possible effects over global climate. It also intends to organize current research in the matter, in order to find a clear relation between a possible biomass deficit and climate change. Specifically, the study analyzes an imperative region for the world, due to the cultural practices that take place (for instance, grazing and other herb-control techniques) and its geographical position.

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