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ESA's Biomass satellite goes ahead

19 February 2015

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Following the initial selection in 2013 for Biomass to become ESA's seventh Earth Explorer mission and the completion of preparatory activities, ESA Member States yesterday gave the green light for its full implementation for launch in 2020.

The mission addresses one of the most fundamental components in the Earth system: the status and dynamics of tropical forests. Its primary scientific objectives are to determine the distribution of above-ground biomass in these forests and to measure annual changes in this stock over the period of the mission.

The amount of biomass and forest height will be measured at a resolution of 200 m, and forest disturbances such as clear-cutting at a resolution of 50 m, providing an important tool for sustainable forest management.

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