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There are 3 trillion trees on Earth — this startup found a way to track all of them

The company uses satellites to see when trees are cut down or lost to fires.

CTrees forest

Photo Credit: iStock

New startup CTrees is a platform using artificial intelligence to track exactly how much carbon dioxide trees are storing — which can help us identify how trees are helping our planet.

The platform was developed by a team of NASA scientists and has a very simple message: "see the forest and the tree." 

By using artificial intelligence, CTrees does just that. The company combines satellite and aerial data with local information to account for every tree on the planet.

CTrees can use its data collection to see when trees are cut down or lost to fires, as well as how many trees are planted and growing across the world. This allows them to keep a running estimate of the total carbon stored by our planet's 3 trillion trees.

CTrees offers much of its annual forest data for free, and it's a platform that will benefit many through its global and national analysis of carbon storage. 

It's also a great tool for countries to understand how they can adjust their methods to reach their pollution reduction goals, such as those outlined in the Paris Agreement. Because trees act as "carbon sinks" that help take planet-warming gases out of the atmosphere, it's important for countries to be able to track their growth over time. 

"We plan to introduce this unique methodology across all our data products in the next year. CTrees' tree-level data will empower a larger community to actively participate in climate solutions," Dr. Martin Brandt, cofounder of CTrees and a professor of geography at the University of Copenhagen, said in a press release.

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