Google has launched a new website that allows users to watch and track deforestation all over the world in near real time.
The new website called Global Forest Watch is leveraged with deforestation data and outfitted with curated maps and in-depth reporting.
Scientists have been studying forests for centuries, chronicling the vital importance of these ecosystems for human society, Google said in a blog post.
But they still lack timely and reliable information about where, when, and why forests are disappearing.
This is about to change with the launch of Global Forest Watch - an online forest monitoring system created by the World Resources Institute, Google and a group of more than 40 partners.
Global Forest Watch uses technologies including Google Earth Engine and Google Maps Engine to map the world's forests with satellite imagery, detect changes in forest cover in near-real-time, and make this information freely available to anyone with Internet access.
By accessing the most current and reliable information, everyone can learn what's happening in forests around the world.
According to data from the University of Maryland and Google, the world lost more than 500 million acres of forest between 2000 and 2012, a report in the blog said.
That's the equivalent of losing 50 soccer fields' worth of forests every minute of every day for the past 13 years.
By contrast, only 0.8 million square km have regrown, been planted, or restored during the same period, according to the blog.