On today’s episode, we discuss the cutting-edge remote sensing technologies used to monitor ecosystems like rainforests and coral reefs. We also listen to a few ecoacoustic recordings that are used to analyze species richness in tropical forests.
The CAO Coral Reef Challenge
Gregory P. Asner, September 2017
Coral reefs are global hotspots of biological diversity and support the livelihoods of more than a billion people worldwide. Coral reefs cover roughly 500,000 km2 of the Earth’s surface, but are sparsely distributed over more than 200 million km2 of ocean (Figure 1). Field studies currently represent less than 0.01% of coral reefs worldwide, and although local monitoring is important, it provides little understanding of the trajectory of coral reefs undergoing regional and global environmental change. Read More
Since its inception in 2006, CAO has produced interesting data art for numerous scientific journals. Making the December 2016 cover of Ecological Applications, this image shows CAO’s Visible-to-Shortwave Infrared (VSWIR) imaging spectrometer data over a reforested landscape in Panama. Different colors indicate differences in growth rates among tropical trees.
A letter of thanks from CAO Principal Investigator Greg Asner
November 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) program. In recognition of this milestone, made possible by a special team and our visionary donors, we celebrate discovery, ecological conservation, and environmental action driven by CAO science and technology.
How can you tell if an avocado’s gone bad just by looking at it? By examining it through a hyperspectral (HS) camera. These devices – also known as imaging spectrometers – see things the human eye cannot by scanning the world across multiple channels of light. Where humans see three wavelengths in the colour spectrum (red, green and blue), hyperspectral sensors can detect as many as 480.