Mangroves may only cover 12% of the world’s coasts but you can spot these salt-tolerant trees from space!
All along tropical and subtropical ocean coastlines, leafy green canopies of mangrove trees can be seen from satellites orbiting just beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Some satellites, like those in NASA and USGS’s Landsat program, are specially designed to observe Earth and help us learn about our amazing biodiversity and landscapes.
Monitoring mangroves with satellites helps scientists gather different information about the global state of these coastal trees—especially information linked to countering the climate crisis. A range of amazing technology built into satellites can not only tell us where mangroves grow, but also help us to understand how tall they are and how much carbon they store. Combined, this information is incredibly valuable for both local communities and state governments interested in adapting and building their resilience to the climate crisis.
Colombia, Fiji, Madagascar, and Mexico each have incredible and unique mangrove forests that store tons of carbon and support communities and a wide variety of wildlife. These countries have unique challenges that require access to the best information possible. WWF is working closely with stakeholders and partners in each country to integrate what we know about each country’s mangroves, both from the country’s coastal experts on Earth and from satellites in space. These knowledge-gathering collaborations will help us to better work together and support a resilient ecosystem for the future.