There's no question that deforestation is a problem, as it affects everything from climate through to biodiversity. But gauging the severity of deforestation isn't easy -- simply measuring lost forest cover doesn't tell you the effect it can have on a given area. That's where technology might save the day. Researchers have developed a new technique that uses satellite maps to track forest attrition distance, or the widening gaps between forests that can affect the environment. The overhead data can show whether tree losses are relatively mild, occurring in patches among other trees, or whether they're serious enough to create larger distances between forests.