Forests cover approximately 4 billion hectares of the Earth's surface, equivalent to a third of it's total land area. According to the WWF, between 12-15 million hectares of forests are lost every year due to human impacts, such as deforestation. It is estimated that forest loss is responsible for around 15% of global carbon emissions. Being able to accurately measure these emissions is important to develop a strategy to mitigate against the impacts of climate change. Until now, it has been difficult for researchers to monitor the world's carbon stocks and how they vary over time. However, a team of researchers from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory of Stanford University (CAO) have developed an airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system that can measure how much carbon is stored in forests and where human activities including deforestation are releasing it.