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Characterizing and monitoring global landscapes using GlobeLand30 datasets: the first decade of the twenty-first century

Jokar Arsanjani, Jamal
International journal of digital earth 2019 v.12 no.6 pp. 642-660
Landsat, climate change, data collection, deforestation, desertification, ecosystem services, ecosystems, human population, information sources, land cover, landscapes, monitoring, shrinkage, urbanization
Global land cover maps are important sources of information for a wide range of studies including land change analysis and climate change research. While the global land cover maps attempt to present a consistent and homogenous data in terms of the production process, the existing datasets offer coarse resolution data, e.g. 1000 m for IGBP DISCover and 300 m for GlobeCover 2009 that is oftentimes challenging. Recently, GlobeLand30 data based on Landsat archive for two timestamps of 2000 and 2010 has been released. It presents a finer spatial resolution of 30 m, which provides numerous opportunities for a wide range of studies. The main objective of this study is to use this dataset for characterizing global land cover patterns, monitoring, and identifying extreme land change cases with their types and magnitude. The findings reveal massive land change patterns including deforestation, desertification, shrinkage of water bodies, and urbanization across the globe. The results and discussions of this research can help policy-makers, environmental planners, ecosystem services providers and climate change researchers to gain finer insights about the forms of global land change. Future research calls for further investigation of the underlying causes of the massive changes and their consequences on our ecosystems and human populations.