Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Counting On Trees: Scientists Are Creating A National Biomass And Carbon Dataset For USA

Date:
May 1, 2007
Source:
Woods Hole Research Center
Summary:
After completing a two-year pilot phase, Woods Hole Research Center scientists are expanding the scope of the "National Biomass and Carbon Dataset" for the year 2000. NBCD2000 will be an invaluable baseline data set for the assessment of carbon stock in US forest vegetation, improving current methods of determining carbon flux between vegetation and the atmosphere. Work on the remaining mapping zones will be completed at a rate of roughly one every seven working days.

To date, 5 of the 66 mapping zones have been completed in the NBCD2000 project. The remaining 61 will be completed at an approximate rate of one every seven working days.
Credit: Wayne Walker/Greg Fiske; Woods Hole Research Center

After completing a two-year pilot phase, scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center are expanding the scope of the "National Biomass and Carbon Dataset" for the year 2000 (NBCD2000), the first ever inventory of its kind, by moving into the production phase.

Through a combination of NASA satellite datasets, topographic survey data, land use/land cover data, and extensive forest inventory data collected by the U.S. Forest Service -- Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA), NBCD2000 will be an invaluable baseline data set for the assessment of the carbon stock in U.S. forest vegetation and will improve current methods of determining carbon flux between vegetation and the atmosphere. Work on the remaining 61 mapping zones will be completed at a rate of roughly one zone every seven working days.

According to Josef Kellndorfer, an associate scientist at the Center who is leading the project, "Understanding this flux is critical for the quantification and prediction of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, a major determinant of the greenhouse warming effect in the climate system. Thus, this initiative will directly support the North American Carbon Program, which is a major component of the U.S. Climate Change Research Program."

In the NBCD2000 initiative, begun in 2005, data is being analyzed in 66 ecologically diverse regions, termed "mapping zones", which span the conterminous United States. Within each mapping zone data from the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission are combined with topographic survey data from the National Elevation Dataset (NED) to produce a radar-based height map of vegetation. Subsequently, this map is converted to estimates of actual vegetation height, biomass, and carbon stock using survey data from the U.S. Forest Service -- FIA program and ancillary data sets from the National Land Cover Database 2001 (NLCD2001) project. The NLCD2001 data layers are crucial inputs to the NBCD2000 project as they provide land cover and canopy density information used in the stratification/calibration process.

An initial two-year pilot phase (May 2005-2007) served as an iterative period of research devoted to algorithm development, testing, and subsequent refinement. Though this work, an in-depth understanding of the functional relationships between vegetation canopy height and estimates of aboveground biomass and carbon stocks was obtained. During the pilot phase, mapping was completed for five of the 66 mapping zones within the conterminous U.S. (See graphic.) These zones include, in order of completion, 16 (central Utah), 60 (Chesapeake Bay area), 55 (southern Georgia/northern Florida), 47 (western Kentucky), and 53 (central Appalachians). Mapping zone selection was based on (1) geographic distribution, (2) data availability, (3) data quality, (4) community interest, and (5) research potential.

Wayne Walker, a post-doctoral fellow at the Center who is also working on the project adds, "It has been very exciting for us to make use of synergies afforded by the fusion of optical and interferometric radar data. To address the considerable demands for data throughput, novel software was developed to utilize the newly acquired Woods Hole Research Center High Performance Computing Cluster. The new parallel computing algorithms have significantly increased our processing speed such that we are now able to complete one mapping zone every seven days."

May 1 marks the official beginning of the two-year (May 2007-2009) production phase and coincides with the formal receipt of additional funding from NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program. All NBCD2000 data products will be made available for download on a zone-by-zone basis and free of charge from the Seamless Data Distribution System operated by the U.S. Geological Survey as well as from an NBCD2000 project website currently under development. The entire project is scheduled to finish in early 2009

The start of the production phase coincides with the formal notice of additional funding from NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Woods Hole Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Woods Hole Research Center. "Counting On Trees: Scientists Are Creating A National Biomass And Carbon Dataset For USA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430155713.htm>.
Woods Hole Research Center. (2007, May 1). Counting On Trees: Scientists Are Creating A National Biomass And Carbon Dataset For USA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430155713.htm
Woods Hole Research Center. "Counting On Trees: Scientists Are Creating A National Biomass And Carbon Dataset For USA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430155713.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins