Climate: Counting Carbon in the Amazon
Oct. 21, 2009
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awarded the Carnegie Institution of Washington a series of grants to improve remote sensing methods for identifying baseline forest conditions and implementing forest monitoring across the Andes Amazon region. This funding has supported Greg Asner and his team in developing the new Airborne Taxonomic Mapping System (AToMS), completing the translation of highly sophisticated software (CLASS) into a simpler, user-friendly tool (CLASlite), and deploying a training and capacity building program for forest monitoring in the Andes-Amazon using CLASlite. Their work demonstrates that developing countries’ forest baseline and monitoring capabilities can be established at unprecedented scale and detail.
In the October 21 issue of Nature, Jeff Tollefson reports on Asner's work, and on the impact it could have on climate change negotiations and tropical forest conservation.
Read the full article here:
If the next climate treaty tackles deforestation, tropical nations will need to monitor the biomass of their forests. One ecologist has worked out a way to do that from the sky, finds Jeff Tollefson.
Greg Asner peers out an open window, taking stock of the jungle as the single-engine prop plane chugs over a pair of scarlet macaws gliding among the treetops 120 metres below. The Peruvian Amazon stretches in all directions, painted in countless shades of green, accented here and there by patches of purple, pink and yellow. Occasionally, naked white trunks rise amid the leaves…###