ForWarn

Satellite-Based Change Recognition and Tracking

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ForWarn's start of green-up for croplands

The typical start of greenup on agricultural lands

Understanding the normal start of greenup for croplands is important because it provides a baseline to compare year to year conditions. The date of greenup for agricultural lands varies based on year-to-year climate factors, the unique responses of the specific crop or... read more »

Hemlock death transforms Appalachian forests

Across the Southern Appalachians, Eastern Hemlock has long created an important ecological niche. As these trees are evergreen, they provide year-long cover for wildlife and they cool riparian areas where they tend to grow. Since the mid 2000s, these forests have been... read more »

Drought, beetles and fire in Colorado

Since 2004, southwestern Colorado's Englemann spruce forests have experienced a severe outbreak of spruce beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis). Such outbreaks occur episodically, multiple times per century (Anderson et al. 2010). Early research in northern Colorado linked a... read more »

North Carolina coastal tree mortality associated with 2011 Hurricane Irene Dare County, NC ForWarn EFETAC

Coastal pocosins respond to hurricanes and fire

Coastal forests and shrublands can be vulnerable to climate-associated disturbances such as the strong winds and storm surges associated with hurricanes. Because of its extension into the Atlantic, eastern North Carolina is especially vulnerable to such storms, having... read more »

Monitoring Gypsy Moth defoliation in near real time

By late 2012, forest health monitors in western New York and Pennsylvania knew that they were about to experience a severe outbreak of the non-native Gypsy Moth. Surveys showed an unusually high density of egg masses on the branches and trunks of trees, but neither egg... read more »

Spring defoliations emerge like measles during 2010; Image: Steve Norman, USFS.

Defoliation on the bayou

Spring often brings defoliating insects to the forests of Louisiana. In this image from early May 2010, defoliations from forest tent caterpillars and baldcypress leafrollers create an erupting "measles-like" pattern. Note the subtle differences in severity outward from... read more »

ForWarn's median date of start of greenup

The typical start of greenup in natural vegetation

The start of the annual growing season is among the most important climate-sensitive measures that Land Surface Phenology (LSP) products like ForWarn can provide. Warm temperatures can accelerate bud burst, and this can increase exposure to damaging spring frosts, as it... read more »

The start of greenup for a mixed urban-agricultural Minnesota landscape

Mapping the urban phenological footprint

Urban areas are renowned for their admixture of species and vegetation types that can change from one parcel to the next. Yards and woodland parks intermix with road medians--all of which may be dominated by an irregular mix of native and exotic trees, shrubs, herbs and... read more »

Dead pines from drought in Houston; Photo credit: Ron Billings, Texas Forest Service

Drought takes a toll on Texas trees

The forests of Texas continue to suffer through one of the most extreme droughts on record and a large number of trees have already died. The photo shows mortality in Memorial Park, Houston (Ron Billings, Texas Forest Service). By late August of 2011, the regional... read more »

Hail devastates corn and soybean fields in Nebraska and Iowa during June of 2014 ForWarn EFETAC Steve Norman

Massive hailstorm destroys Midwestern crops

During the first week of June 2014, hail caused significant damage to corn and soybean fields in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. By June 9th, ForWarn's all-lands product was beginning to show the losses that these storms inflicted across multiple counties despite... read more »

The Great Smoky Mountains tornado

The April 27, 2011 tornado that hit Great Smoky Mountains National Park in eastern Tennessee was a powerful EF4 storm (its direction is indicated by the black arrow). Wind storms are important natural disturbances for Southern Appalachian forests, and the ecological... read more »

September 2014 hail storm streaks through northern Wisconsin

Autumnal Hail and Early Browndown in the Upper Midwest

It can be challenging to detect disturbances during seasonal periods of transition such as Fall or Spring in the eastern deciduous forest. The baseline conditions we use to compare with current conditions harbor a lot of normal variation that results from the onset and... read more »

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ForWarn provides near-real-time tracking of vegetation changes across landscapes in the United States. Useful for both monitoring disturbance events as well as year-to-year variability, derived products can also be used to develop insights into seasonal and inter-annual dynamics.

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Forest Change Assessment Viewer

The Forest Change Assessment Viewer provides a forest change recognition and tracking system for ForWarn that uses high-frequency, moderate resolution satellite data.

Recent News

11/20/2014 - 12:43
ForWarn was selected as one of the “top 25” tools included in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit launched on November 17th for the White House.
09/01/2014 - 12:00
“… there was no doubt that this was salt damage that could be traced back to the storm surge from the hurricane.”...
05/12/2014 - 08:52
NASA's Spinoff, a premier annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technologies, includes ForWarn in its 2013 edition.