Tropical forest carbon assessment: Integrating satellite and airborne mapping approaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large-scale carbon mapping is needed to support the UNFCCC program to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Managers of forested land can potentially increase their carbon credits via detailed monitoring of forest cover, loss and gain (hectares), and periodic estimates of changes in forest carbon density (tonsha-1). Satellites provide an opportunity to monitor changes in forest carbon caused by deforestation and degradation, but only after initial carbon densities have been assessed. New airborne approaches, especially light detection and ranging (LiDAR), provide a means to estimate forest carbon density over large areas, which greatly assists in the development of practical baselines. Here I present an integrated satellite-airborne mapping approach that supports high-resolution carbon stock assessment and monitoring in tropical forest regions. The approach yields a spatially resolved, regional state-of-the-forest carbon baseline, followed by high-resolution monitoring of forest cover and disturbance to estimate carbon emissions. Rapid advances and decreasing costs in the satellite and airborne mapping sectors are already making high-resolution carbon stock and emissions assessments viable anywhere in the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034009
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

tropical forest
Carbon
Satellites
carbon
Deforestation
forest cover
Conservation of Natural Resources
deforestation
monitoring
Monitoring
Forests
degradation
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Degradation
stock assessment
carbon emission
Managers
disturbance
Light
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Biomass mapping
  • Carbon accounting
  • Deforestation
  • Forest degradation
  • LiDAR
  • REDD
  • Satellite mapping
  • UNFCCC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Tropical forest carbon assessment : Integrating satellite and airborne mapping approaches. / Asner, Gregory P.

In: Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 4, No. 3, 034009, 01.01.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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