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Map Shows the Depressing Lack of Trees in LA

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The hard workers at Woods Hole Research Center have created a map that shows the total amount of woody biomass in the contiguous United States, showing something you might have already suspected: there aren't a whole hell of a lot of trees in Southern California. Tech blog Dvice breaks down the process by which the researchers developed the map: "Josef Kellndorfer and Wayne Walker of Woods Hole Research Center worked in conjunction with the National Geological Survey and US Forest Service to catalog a mix of data gleaned from space-based radar, satellite sensors, computer models, and old-fashioned tree counting. The map above shows the total amount of woody biomass in the USA. It's displayed at a 30 meter resolution, where every four pixels constitutes an acre and every ten represents a hectare."

The darker the green or red on the map, the more trees there are per acre. That gray color you see so much of means that there aren't enough trees to kick in the map's color coding system--whole huge swaths of LA don't even rate a blip on the woody mass radar, which helps explain why Mayor Villaraigosa was so jazzed about the Million Trees LA initiative a few years back. The map uses a year 2000 baseline, so any improvements brought by Million Trees LA would not be apparent. According to the MTLA website, LA is 21 percent covered by tree canopy, compared to the 27 percent national average. Check out those maps here.
· Image of the Day: map of every tree in the United States [Dvice]
· Tree Canopy Analysis [Million Trees LA]