World's forests could hold 20 pct more carbon than previously thought - study

SAO PAULO Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:12am IST

A make-shift shelter is seen in the Rohanne forest in the centre of the ZAD in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France, February 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

A make-shift shelter is seen in the Rohanne forest in the centre of the ZAD in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France, February 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Related Topics

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The world's forests could hold 20 percent more carbon than previously thought, according to a study released on Tuesday.

If correct, that extra 125 billion tonnes of carbon could lead to an increase in the number of forest-based carbon credits set to be offered in carbon markets around the world.

Forests are considered sinks of carbon as they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to reduce the concentration of the top heat-trapping gas.

Deforestation reduces the number of trees absorbing carbon dioxide and also releases carbon back into the atmosphere.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh say they have developed a new 3D system to measure forests' carbon content that is more detailed and accurate than current methods.

For the study, the group analyzed a specific forested area in Costa Rica and compared resulting data with previous calculations of carbon stocks.

Most projects that generate carbon credits by reducing emissions from deforestation (REDD) use satellite images associated with estimates of carbon content which vary depending on the type of forest.

The system used by the Edinburgh scientists is based on 3D data extracted from airborne laser scanning.

"Satellite data cannot provide information on the vertical dimension of the forest, such as canopy height and layering, which are crucial to accurate measurement of the carbon," said team leader Iain Woodhouse.

Satellite-collected data from existing studies found the area in Costa Rica contained between 14.4 and 16.3 million tonnes of carbon, while the new method estimated the same area to hold 19.8 million tonnes.

But the new system could be more expensive for REDD project developers.

Forest-based offsets are expected to be included in a global climate deal currently being negotiated.

(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Taiwan Crash

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gaza Conflict

Gaza Conflict

Gaza bloodshed deepens, airlines shun Israel.  Full Article 

MH17 Shooting Down

MH17 Shooting Down

Dutch mourn as first MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands  Full Article 

Khamenei on Israel

Khamenei on Israel

Iran's supreme leader calls for end to "murderous" Israeli regime  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile  Full Article 

Food Safety Scandal

Food Safety Scandal

Yum cuts ties to owner of China meat plant after scandal  Full Article 

Alleged War Crimes

Alleged War Crimes

U.N. launches probe into alleged Israeli crimes in Gaza  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage