December 11, 2004
Clear skies and warm weather have come to the Southern Hemisphere. In this true-color Terra MODIS image of southernmost Brazil, the state of Rio Grande do Sul glows with rich shades of gold and green. To the northwest, in peninsular Argentina, the dense green vegetation marks one of the few remaining tracts of the Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlantica) ecosystem. This image was acquired on December 3, 2004. What once extended up and down the eastern coast of South America and inland for hundreds of miles today is confined to small stretches of land protected by the Brazilian and Argentinian governments. What was once the most biologically diverse ecosystem in South America - covering a greater range of individual ecosystem types than even the Amazon Rainforest - has been reduced to just seven percent of its former size, and continues to shrink as pressure to find agricultural land increases.
Topics: Environment, Ecology, Geography, Nature, Geography of Brazil, Ecosystem, Amazon Rainforest, Rainforests, Geography of South America, Forest, Neotropic, Atlantic forest