Way more trees than previously thought, new estimates show

Posted to Maps  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

There are a lot of trees on this planet. But how many trees there actually are is still kind of fuzzy, because the estimates are based on satellite imagery. It’s hard to gauge density. Research by T. W. Crowther et al., recently published in Nature, used on-the-ground sampling to estimate more accurately.

The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. We provide the first spatially continuous map of forest tree density at a global scale. This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion, an order of magnitude higher than the previous estimate. Of these trees, approximately 1.39 trillion exist in tropical and subtropical forests, with 0.74 trillion in boreal regions and 0.61 trillion in temperate regions.

Favorites

How to Spot Visualization Lies

Many charts don’t tell the truth. This is a simple guide to spotting them.

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.