The world is losing tree cover at an alarming rate, and the effects on biodiversity, the climate and indigenous communities cannot be overstated.

*The question is, why? What's causing this loss? *And will tree cover come back, or will the land be used for a new purpose? Our new study, released today in Science, gets us one step closer to answering these questions.

Together with The Sustainability Consortium and the University of Maryland, we visually interpreted thousands of satellite images in Google Earth to identify what caused forest disturbance around the world. We used this information to train a computer model to determine the most likely drivers of tree cover loss that was detected globally between 2001 and 2015. Starting today, the map is available on Global Forest Watch.