Global Rainforest Carbon Map Released Online

Mar 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Advocacy, Biodiversity, Biomass, Information and Communication, News, Website-eNews Portal

Researchers have posted carbon stock data for the world’s tropical forests on ArcGIS Online, a web-based mapping platform developed by ESRI.

The data, based on satellite measurements from NASA including LiDAR and MoDIS data as well as on-the-ground field measurements, reveals the biomass of tropical forests at a 500-meter resolution, the highest resolution ever published on a global scale. Rainforests in the Amazon, Borneo, New Guinea, and the Congo Basin are particularly carbon-dense, reflecting the importance of conserving these areas for climate change mitigation efforts.

“Knowing how much carbon is in these forests is key to devising effective programs and finances to conserve them,” said Eric Davidson, executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center, which led the research.

Scientists hope the maps can be used to estimate carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation. The data may help determine how much countries can earn from the proposed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program, which aims to compensate tropical nations for protecting their forests.

The basis for the data behind the new maps was detailed in a paper published in Nature Climate Change earlier this year. That study estimated carbon storage by global tropical forests at 229 billion tons.





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