Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | December 11, 2012

Amazing Amazon

Seeing the amazing Amazon Rainforest in a new light might help us really SEE IT for the first time…

The Carnegie Airborne Observatory is flying over the Amazon and it captures stunning “Alice in Wonderland” images like the one bellow, by using a specialized spectrometer that detects, registers, and maps, chemical signals that in turn allow us to identify the different plant species living within the forest…

A great and cool use of Technology developed at the Jet Propulsion laboratory in California for space uses has now found it’s way back down and is helping us save the Earth by seeing what we are missing…

The photo bellow is not a Technicolor dream.

Nor is it a Photoshop failed colour balance attempt. 

The imagery below is real and it’s not You seeing another flashback from the recreational hallucinogenic you ingested in your college years.

Nor is it because of that bong you are nursing under your bed and the green stuff you smoke in it.

It is a scientific image and a truly stunning technique that provides us with high resolution chemical imaging of the rainforest in all its glory. A glorious biodiversity detail in fact emerges from this.

A new picture of all plant life species taxonomy in situ as mapped from the air with high data resolution.

CAO_imagery_Peru-54-gallery.jpg

This image from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory shows a bend of the river deep within the Peruvian Amazon in extreme biological plant species detail.

This is rich data, straight from the Jet Propulsion imaging spectrometer to You.

It was captured – as seen – by the flying CAO, which is a scientific instrument lab inside an aircraft that is mapping the tropical rainforest’s ecology in unprecedented detail. This new imaging technology can measure ecosystem chemistry, biomass and biodiversity – all vital information that can be used to help mitigate climate change, conserve forests and manage ecosystem.

The plane carries the Airborne Taxonomic Mapping System, or AToMS, which uses an imaging spectrometer that engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, helped to build. It detects chemical signals and recognises the signatures of plant species, while a laser-ranging system draws up a 3D model of the landscape below. The CAO can reach every tropical region on the planet and scan 50,000 hectares a day.

AToMs can even detect the water content of leaves, detecting which plants are under stress from drought, which may increase in the near future. Here, blue shows high nitrogen concentrations in canopies; purple is high nitrogen, water and cellulose; and red is high chlorophyll and photosynthetic pigments.

“It’s like taking an X-ray of an entire landscape, plant by plant, and each tiny hill,” said Greg Asner of the Carnegie Institution for Science. “We can see how just a 1- or 2-foot change in ground elevation can create a new habitat for rainforest species, with measurable effects on the rainforest biomass. AToMS consistently reveals something we didn’t know, and often many things we had never considered.”

The new technology can measure ecosystem chemistry, biomass and biodiversity – information that can be used to help mitigate climate change, conserve forests and manage ecosystem. AToMs can even detect the water content of leaves, detecting which plants are under stress from drought, which may increase in the near future. Here, blue shows high nitrogen concentrations in canopies; purple is high nitrogen, water and cellulose; and red is high chlorophyll and photosynthetic pigments.

“Probably the most profound scientific advances revolve around directly measuring biodiversity in some of the most critically endangered regions of our planet,” Asner said.

AToMS began work in June 2011, and the team presented their first results at the American Geophysical Union meetings in San Francisco last week.

Me thinks that what you can see and measure – You can manage.

Seeing this Biodiversity in amazing detail will finally allow us to understand the many varied uses and extreme value the Amazon and it’s treasury of Biodiversity holds for Humanity.

This in turn will wake up governments to see the Rainforest in detail and not in the abstract sense as the lung of the planet.

It will also reinforce the image of Finance from the forest as a Land Bank of preserved ecosystems and the living taxonomy of species.

And that is the real value of the rain forest and it’s first Peoples. They together represent the living Bank of Biodiversity and the Long Term Capital of Humanity.

Value Investors understand this well — because the Rain forests’ wealth and necessity for our common survival is far greater that the primitive value of of extracting it’s timbers.

Wasting the Amazon and it’s amazing life for wood and beef agriculture is a crime against humanity.

Because to mine this rainforest for timbers, is akin to killing all of the living beings within.

And that is tantamount to killing the living skin of our planet in the process….

This equivalent of mass murder deprives us all of the gifts of many millions of years of benevolent adaptation, that caused this changing and constantly shifting biodiversity mechanism we call the living Rain Forest trove.

Can You live with that?

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Innovative uses of Space technology rock, because they help us understand and commercialize the knowledge.

Strategic investment in these tech developments merits reward.

Just imagine all the other Life saving applications this new imaging technology can have when we innovate in our everyday lives.

 


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