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Mon Nov 10, 2014, 05:02 PM

Peru's forests store nearly 7 billion metric tons of carbon

Peru's forests store nearly 7 billion metric tons of carbon
By Lizzie Wade 10 November 2014 3:00 pm

As an Amazonian country, Peru knew it was doing the world an environmental service by storing carbon in its rainforest. But the country didnít know exactly how much carbon it was keeping out of the atmosphere nor precisely where it was. That hindered its ability to protect its reserves as well as negotiate a fair price for doing so on the global carbon market. Now, a new map provides a hectare-by-hectare look at Peruís carbon reserves. Made by combining data from LiDAR flights, a network of monitored land plots, and satellite imagery, the map reveals that Peru stores just under 7 billion metric tons of carbon, mostly in the Amazon rainforest that dominates the eastern part of the country, researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The map is so detailed that it can reveal deforestation that would otherwise be hidden deep in rural areas. The image above, for example, shows how carbon stocks are diminished by the building of a road (blue) through the normally high-carbon Amazon (red). These kinds of close-ups allowed the researchers to calculate that at least 800 million metric tons of Peruís aboveground carbon stocks are at imminent risk of destruction from activities such as logging and oil extraction. But thereís hope: The map also shows that federally protected environmental reserves are great at storing carbon, which could give the Peruvian government the leverage it needs to establish more of them. Meanwhile, the team hopes to expand its mapping method to more developing tropical countries. Next up? Ecuador.


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Reply Peru's forests store nearly 7 billion metric tons of carbon (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 2014 OP
RiverLover Nov 2014 #1
OKIsItJustMe Nov 2014 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 09:01 PM

1. Thanks for posting. Awe inspiring!

THIS is what should be on the evening news.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Nov 11, 2014, 02:06 AM

2. Mapping reveals targets for preserving tropical carbon stocks

[font face=Serif][font size=5]Mapping reveals targets for preserving tropical carbon stocks[/font]

Monday, November 10, 2014

[font size=3]Washington, D.C.ó A new high-resolution mapping strategy has revealed billions of tons of carbon in Peruvian forests that can be preserved as part of an effort to sequester carbon stocks in the fight against climate change. Tropical forests convert more carbon from the atmosphere into biomass than any other terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. However, when land is used for agriculture, as a wood source, or for mining, carbon is often released into the atmosphere where it contributes to climate change. Tropical deforestation and forest degradation account for about 10 percent of the worldís carbon emissions annually.

There remain major challenges to conserving the carbon thatís stored in these tropical landscapes on a national and international scale. A team led by Carnegieís Greg Asner developed a new high-resolution approach for prioritizing carbon conservation efforts throughout tropical countries. Their findings are published the week of November 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team of authors emphasized that the low cost of conducting their project means that the same approach can be rapidly implemented in any country, thereby supporting both national and international commitments to reduce and offset carbon emissions.

Many of the geographic details about the carbon thatís stored in tropical forest ecosystems remain unknown. In order for people involved in conservation efforts to select new areas in which carbon stocks can be best protected and enhanced, detailed information on which areas would make the best targets for protection are necessary. This means understanding each landscapeís climate, topography, geology, and hydrology.

Using advanced three-dimensional forest mapping data provided by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), integrated with satellite imaging data, the team was able to create a map of carbon density throughout the 128 million hectare (320 million acre) country of Peru, at a resolution of one hectare (2.5 acres).


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