Chart: Tropical forest loss between 2000-2005

/ Mongabay.com

A study published last month in the journal Science came up with new estimates of tropical forest loss between 2000 and 2005. The research — led by Nancy Harris of Winrock International and also involving scientists from Applied GeoSolutions, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Maryland — was based on analysis of remote sensing data calibrated with field studies.

Chart: Gross forest loss in tropical countries, 2000-2005.

Gross forest loss in tropical countries, 2000-2005 according to Harris et al (2012).

A study published last month in the journal Science came up with new estimates of tropical forest loss between 2000 and 2005. The research — led by Nancy Harris of Winrock International and also involving scientists from Applied GeoSolutions, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Maryland — was based on analysis of remote sensing data calibrated with field studies.

Like other assessments, the study found Brazil and Indonesia lost the greatest extent of forest during the period. But some of their data differed substantially from the default source of forest data, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. For example, according to Harris and colleagues, Indonesia’s gross forest loss was twice as high as estimated by FAO, while India’s was one million hectares higher. But Myanmar and Tanzania had substantially lower loss under the methodology used in the Science paper.

Countries with the highest gross forest loss between 2000 and 2005 according to the new study
Countries with the highest gross forest loss between 2000 and 2005 according to the new study and earlier work by the FAO. Click image to enlarge.

The objective of the study was to quantify emissions from deforestation. Harris and colleagues estimated gross carbon emissions from deforestation at 810 million metric tons (with a 90 percent confidence interval of 0.57-1.22 billion tons) per year from 2000-2005, significantly below earlier calculations. Brazil and Indonesia accounted for 55 percent of gross emissions from tropical deforestation during the study period, while dry forests accounted for 40 percent of tropical forest loss but amounted to only 17 percent of emissions.

The study did not look at carbon emissions from logging or other forms of forest degradation, including peatlands drainage and burning. The authors noted another study found emissions from these sources amounted to 272 million tons per year in the study period, adding roughly a third more to their results. The research also did not account for forest recovery in the tropics, nor land use change in temperate regions.

Percent gross forest loss in tropical countries, 2000-2005.

Gross forest loss in tropical countries, 2000-2005 according to Harris et al (2012).

The researchers say the next phase of their analysis will look at the 2006-2010 period.

For more on the study, including other charts and maps, see Deforestation accounts for 10 percent of global carbon emissions, argues new study .

Data table

Note: this table only includes mean and median estimates from the study. For the full results, download the supplemental online materials [PDF].

Forest Area 2000 Gross Forest Cover Loss Forest Carbon Stock Density Emissions from Deforestation
(Median estimate) (Mean estimate) (Median estimate)
Country (Million ha) ha/yr tons/ha M tC/yr
Brazil 458 3,292,000 116 340
Indonesia 107 701,000 155 105
Argentina 49 437,000 24 10
Paraguay 21 242,000 27 9
Malaysia 22 233,000 179 41
India 42 206,000 104 18
DR Congo 167 203,000 128 23
Mozambique 34 196,000 42 9
Myanmar 33 186,000 155 29
Tanzania 23 149,000 45 7
Mexico 46 140,000 48 8
Colombia 63 137,000 138 14
Thailand 17 134,000 126 16
Zambia 29 134,000 43 7
Bolivia 61 129,000 90 11
Angola 49 126,000 47 6
Zimbabwe 9 119,000 30 5
Venezuela 49 115,000 134 9
South Africa 13 99,000 28 4
Sudan 17 95,000 45 4
Laos 16 85,000 164 15
Nigeria 12 81,000 83 4
Ethiopia 16 68,000 53 4
Chile 17 67,000 52 6
CAR 36 65,000 66 4
Cambodia 9 58,000 127 8
Peru 68 57,000 158 7
Vietnam 14 55,000 127 8
Cameroon 26 54,000 142 7
Madagascar 16 52,000 70 3
Guatemala 6 50,000 92 5
Nicaragua 5 50,000 113 6
PNG 31 50,000 152 7
Botswana 4 48,000 19 1
Philippines 10 40,000 118 6
Cote d’Ivoire 8 39,000 85 3
Kenya 4 39,000 54 2
Ecuador 13 37,000 149 4
Chad 5 37,000 31 1
Ghana 5 30,000 94 2
Caribbean 7 28,000 46 2
Mali 3 28,000 44 1
Guinea 9 27,000 57 2
Rep. of Congo 23 26,000 160 3
Gabon 19 24,000 164 4
Uganda 5 23,000 65 1
Somalia 1 20,000 34 1
Uruguay 3 19,000 28 1
Honduras 6 17,000 77 1
Namibia 1 17,000 16
Nepal 5 16,000 103 2
Sierra Leone 3 16,000 83 1
Liberia 7 14,000 147 2
Senegal 2 14,000 26
Guyana 16 13,000 161 1
Costa Rica 3 12,000 105 1
Panama 3 12,000 115 1
Benin 2 12,000 29
Malawi 2 10,000 40
Belize 1 9,000 105 1
Bangladesh 2 7,000 94 1
Sri Lanka 3 7,000 94 1
Suriname 12 6,000 161 1
Togo 1 6,000 49
Bhutan 2 4,000 152 1
Burundi 1 3,000 64
Equatorial Guinea 2 3,000 160 1
Lesotho 1 3,000 19
El Salvador 1 2,000 49
French Guiana 7 2,000 160
Guinea-Bissau 1 2,000 37
Swaziland 1 2,000 32

CITATION:
Nancy L. Harris,
Sandra Brown,
Stephen C. Hagen,
Sassan S. Saatchi,
Silvia Petrova,
William Salas,
Matthew C. Hansen,
Peter V. Potapov,
and Alexander Lotsch. Baseline Map of Carbon Emissions from Deforestation in Tropical Regions. Science 22 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6088 pp. 1573-1576 DOI: 10.1126/science.1217962

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