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The vanishing forests

This image shows the extent of deforestation in the state of Rondonia, Brazil. Tropical rainforest appears bright red, while pale red and brown areas represent cleared land. Black and gray areas have probably been recently burned. The Jiparaná River appears blue. Most of the clearing is done for agriculture – grazing cattle, and planting crops. Large cattle pastures often replace rainforest to grow beef for the world market. Commercial logging is another common form of deforestation, cutting trees for sale as timber or pulp.

Sources: NASA/ GSFC/ METI/ ERSDAC/ JAROS, and US/ Japan ASTER Science Team

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