Wales replaced by football pitches

“About the area of Wales …” 

Wales has often been used as an informal measurement of area, but in the Royal Statistical Society Statistic of the decade, they have forsaken Wales as an area of measurement, replacing it with (the much smaller) football pitch.

The estimated accumulated deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, over the past decade, is equivalent to around 8.4 million football pitches

Perhaps it is the international nature of the statistic that makes the football pitch a better choice of unit for this statistic, or perhaps it is the staggering number of “football pitches” that have been de-forested (although there is the danger that when we start to talk of big numbers, we lose context and understanding. Can you really visualise the difference between, say, 8.4 million football pitches, and 84 million pitches – a difference by a factor of ten, but for most of us both numbers are just “really big.”)

I did some back of an envelope calculations* and arrived at the conclusion that 8.4 million football pitches is about the same area as 3 Wales. So a staggering amount of deforestation – an area of the Amazon rainforest, equivalent in area to 3 times the size of Wales, has been de-forested this decade.

For reference, other useful alternative units of measurement include the Double Decker Bus (volume and height), Olympic Sized Swimming Pool (volume), Nelson’s Column (height), Blue Whale (mass) – I’m sure you can think of others (and I’d love to hear them)

*If you vaguely enjoyed reading this post, can I recommend this book by Rob Eastaway:


Image from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0

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