Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, makes carbon stock datasets available online using ESRI's ArcGIS Online software; data measures carbon density of world's pantropic forests
March 5, 2012
– 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.
"We at WHRC are proud to be at the very cutting edge of this type of research in tropical forests, and we are honored to partner with Esri to help make the results available," said Dr. Eric Davidson, executive director of WHRC. "Knowing how much carbon is in these forests is key to devising effective programs and finances to conserve them." 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
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.
The carbon-density dataset was developed with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Google Foundation, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
WHRC uses Esri products for many of its research projects. By using ArcGIS Online, it has extended its GIS with a public platform that provides a cloud-based, collaborative content management system for maps, apps, data, and other geographic information. Data consumers can access the Pantropic Biomass dataset at esri.com/tropcarbon.
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The Woods Hole Research Center is a private, nonprofit research organization focusing on environmental sciences. Our scientists combine analysis of satellite images of the earth with field studies to measure, model, and map changes in the world's ecosystems, from the thawing permafrost in the Arctic to the expanding agriculture regions of the tropics. We work locally and regionally, with in-depth expertise and collaborations in North and South America and Africa; and we also work globally, focusing on how humans are changing global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and water. We merge natural science with economics to discover sustainable paths for human prosperity and stewardship of the earth's natural resources.
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