High-Resolution Carbon Monitoring and Modeling

High-Resolution Forest Carbon Monitoring and Modeling: Continued Prototype Development and Deployment to National and Global Scales

NASA has recognized the urgent need for CMS/MRV research through its initiation of the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) program. The University of Maryland, working with NASA centers, the USFS, and commercial entities has led research efforts in Phase I and Phase II that have laid the basic groundwork of our approach to MRV. Beginning with two counties in MD, projects have used wall-to-wall airborne lidar coverage, high resolution optical imagery, and in-situ field data collection to produce high-resolution bottom-up maps of carbon stocks for Sonoma County, CA, the entire state of MD, and the 11 state RGGI+ region (MD, DE, PA, MA, CT, RI, NH, VT, NJ, NY, ME). These same data have also been used to drive a prognostic ecosystem model to predict carbon fluxes for connecting to atmospheric assessments, and to provide estimates of future carbon sequestration potential needed for climate mitigation planning. Our work has demonstrated the value of this approach for both science and stakeholders and suggests logical follow-on activities that should be undertaken towards the realization of operational MRV systems that are responsive to local, national and international interests. The overall goal of this project is the continued development, and geographic expansion, of our approach to high-resolution forest carbon monitoring and modeling. In particular, we seek to continue development and deployment of our approach to the national, and global scales, harnessing newly available orbital remote sensing from NASA (GEDI, ICESat-2, Landsat). In the process, we will both deepen and expand our stakeholder engagement including key governmental and non-governmental organizations. We believe this build-out is the logical next step, and critical toward the development of a national CMS that includes high-resolution forest carbon monitoring.

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