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Copernicus Sentinels to help measure Earth's biomass

07 June 2018

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The amount of carbon stored in Earth's forests and how it is changing will be measured in the forthcoming Climate Change Initiative Biomass project, in which the legacy of GlobBiomass will be carried forward to the Sentinels' era.

Started in 2015, ESA's GlobBiomass project came at a time when there was a pressing demand for a complete characterisation of Earth's biomass. This need arises because about half of biomass is carbon, so the large-scale biomass changes occurring in forests modify Earth's global carbon balance, with profound effects on climate.

Measuring the biomass of every single tree on Earth would solve this problem, but this is unrealistic. The key scientific question addressed by GlobBiomass, therefore, was to use satellite data to estimate just how much carbon is stored in forests on our planet and to clarify its dynamics. It began when only a handful of continental-scale biomass datasets were available and all were being highly debated.

Source: Sentinel Online

Image credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ processed by ESA and GAMMA Remote Sensing - Forest biomass measured by Copernicus Sentinel-1.

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