The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has published a follow-up edition of the ‘World Atlas of Desertification.’ It aims to provide “the first comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of land degradation at a global level,” to highlight the urgency of adopting corrective measures and to offer decision makers a tool for improving local responses to soil loss and land degradation. The previous edition of the Atlas was published two decades prior.

According to the JRC, the current Atlas builds on new data processing methods, including the linking of thousands of high-performance computers, as well as 1.8 petabytes of satellite data. The volume of data generated is equated to “2.7 million CD-ROM discs or more than six years of 24/7 full, high definition video recording.”