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Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating National Biomass and Carbon Dataset

Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center are producing a high-resolution "National Biomass and Carbon Dataset" for the year 2000 (NBCD2000), the first ever inventory of its kind. 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, this "millennium" dataset will serve as an invaluable baseline for carbon stock assessment and flux modeling in the United States.

The NBCD2000 project draws on vegetation canopy height estimated from digital elevation data collected during the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which mapped 80 percent of the Earth's land mass with a radar instrument, producing the most complete digital surface map of Earth. In combination with the National Land Cover Database 2001(NLCD2001) and the National Elevation Dataset (NED), both generated by the U.S. Geological Survey, and forest survey data from the U.S. Forest Service, a high-resolution database of circa-2000 vegetation canopy height, aboveground biomass, and carbon stocks for the conterminous United States will be generated, providing an unprecedented baseline against which to compare data products from the next generation of advanced Earth observing remote sensing platforms.

Dr. Josef Kellndorfer, an associate scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center, is leading the project. He says, "The generation of this first-of-its-kind, high-resolution data set for the United States for the year 2000 will enable unprecedented quantification of biomass and carbon stocks, and will improve many more related studies ranging from carbon-climate interactions, forest fire mitigation, and wildlife habitat characterization, to national energy policy with respect to bio-fuel and renewable resources."

In the NBCD2000 initiative, data will be analyzed in 60 ecologically diverse regions, termed "mapping zones", which cover the entire conterminous United Stat
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Contact: Elizabeth Braun
ebraun@whrc.org
508-540-9900
Woods Hole Research Center
23-Aug-2005


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