LIDAR Provides Clearer Picture of Tropical Carbon

According to a recent article in the New York Times, researchers led by Alessandro Baccini at the nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center gathered two years of laser satellite, or Lidar, data to develop a new high-resolution map of carbon storage in tropical forests.

“Lidar is very good at telling you how tall and how complex the vertical structure of the forest is,” said Dr. Baccini, an assistant researcher at the center. “If you know how tall trees are, and how many you have, then you’re very close to knowing what the carbon stock is,” he said.

The satellite data was validated with more than 300 field visits. The space-borne LIDAR is not sensitive enough to provide all of the answers, but perhaps when combined with airborne LIDAR data the results could yield more accurate results about carbon sequestration.



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