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Remote Sensing

Geographic data management system

Esri

Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) is using Esri's ArcGIS Online to make its new carbon stock datasets available to scientists and environmental experts throughout the world. Decision makers will be able to easily access this data and use GIS to study tropical forest carbon-density and change, which impacts the atmosphere and affects climate change.

The Pantropic Biomass dataset includes carbon contained in the aboveground live woody vegetation of tropical America, Africa, and Asia. At 500-meter resolution, it is the highest-resolution carbon-density dataset to date. Researchers will be able to access the dataset via a few clicks and bring it into the ArcGIS environment. This enables them to

  • Estimate the amount of carbon stored in the vegetation of the world's pantropic forests
  • See how aboveground carbon is distributed across land-cover types both locally and regionally
  • Estimate CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation
  • Calculate carbon units of forests for the carbon exchange market

The WHRC database is more accurate than previous data collections because of developments in satellite sensors designed specifically for vegetation measurements derived from LiDAR data and MoDIS data from NASA. The output layer is "metric tons of biomass," which is basically the amount of matter sitting in each pixel. Included in the carbon-density model are the actual measurements of trees sampled at thousands of locations throughout the tropics. Workers from these field campaigns used established protocols that were designed to standardize data collection.

www.esri.com

Woods Hole Research Center