New data indicate 57% decline in carbon emissions resulting from 78% drop in deforestation In Amazon
Carbon emissions from deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon have dropped 57% from 2004 to 2011, according to new data recently released by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in São José dos Campos, São Paulo. This decrease in emissions is a result of a 78% drop in deforestation in the region during the same period, as measured by INPE’s PRODES satellite monitoring system.
Illegal logging in the Amazon peaked in 2004, when 27,700 square kilometers of forests were cleared. This number fell to 6,400 square kilometers in 2011 as a result of strengthened and coordinated government monitoring and enforcement initiatives.
The data indicate a slowing trend in Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation. Land use change was responsible for 61% of the country’s total emissions in 2005, according to the latest available data in the National Emissions Inventory, released in October 2010.
According to INPE, around half of the forest’s biomass is composed of carbon, which is released in the form of CO2 as a result of deforestation, wildfires and changes in land use, and thus generates greenhouse gas emissions.
The data was provided by the newly launched INPE-Emission Model (EM) system, which uses satellite images to generate annual carbon emissions estimates for the Brazilian Amazon and individual states in the region. The system was developed by INPE’s Earth System Science Center (CCST) in partnership with the Earth Observation Coordination (OBT) and the Amazon Regional Center (CRA), among other institutions.