Surprise trees in the Sahara Desert

Satellite imagery has become the biggest tool for counting the world’s trees. A recent survey showed that a part of the Sahara “where no one would expect to find many trees” actually had “quite a few hundred million”. While forested areas are relatively easy to spot from space, trees that aren’t gathered in thick green clumps have, until now, been overlooked.

Counting the number of trees in the world is key to understanding the impact trees are having on our planet’s health, they report. If the number of trees can be mapped, so can the amount of carbon they store. The assessment suggests a new way to monitor trees outside of forests globally, and to explore their role in mitigating degradation, climate change, and poverty.

Read more about this fascinating research at

sahara trees