Without a strategy to maintain the world’s forests, we may as well give up on climate change and accept our fate. Trees are that important. Deforestation contributes about 15% of all greenhouse gases, because a lot of a tree’s mass is carbon. When you cut it down or burn it, you’re effectively releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. We need trees as carbon “sinks”—they’re the best storage devices we have.
This month, the CAO was featured in Wired Magazine in an article about mapping the Amazon basin in 3D. The article covers the development of CAO-2’s Airborne Taxonomic Mapping System or AToMS, and goes on to tell the story of how CAO is mapping remote forests of the western Amazon before they are leveled by agriculture and other forms of development. Wired made the connection between CAO’s unique technology and the need to map tropical forests for conservation and international policy development.