Google has partnered with more than 40 other organizations to create a sobering deforestation-monitoring tool. Called Global Forest Watch, the tool enables visitors to witness worldwide deforestation as it happens, in near-realtime.
Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. GFW is free and follows an open data approach in putting decision-relevant information in the hands of governments, companies, NGOs, and the public.
The tool is very straightforward to use, with pink representing forest loss and blue representing forest gain (a global view illustrates that the former far exceeds the latter):
When statistics like "50 soccer fields' worth of forest are lost every minute" start to feel meaningless, spend a few minutes over at GFW. The impact it has, watching swaths of the planet vanish before your eyes, is enough to give even the most desensitized visitor pause.