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Carbomap Completes Costa Rica Survey

Costa RicaCarbomap says the actual carbon content of a Costa Rican forest it surveyed is 22 percent higher than published values using traditional satellite methods of measuring forest carbon.

The environmental survey company completed a three-dimensional carbon map of a forested region in Costa Rica to value the asset for trading.

Estimated using approved methodologies by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the global forest carbon stocks are believed to contain 638 billion metric tons of carbon, which may be valued at more than $3.8 trillion (at an average price of $6 per metric ton).

The company says underpinning any carbon credit trading is the need for accurate carbon stock calculations. Carbon stock calculations and their ongoing verification can therefore represent significant costs within any carbon trading transaction, and accuracy is important.

The data by Carbomap shows that the value of protecting global forest carbon could be being significantly underestimated, potentially by as much as $800 billion.

In collaboration with the Global Conservation Standard, Carbomap used data collected by NASA’s experimental LVIS airborne laser scanning system.

Using satellite-collected data from existing scientific studies, the forested area in Costa Rica was estimated to contain between 14.4 and 16.3 million metric tons of carbon. However, using the more detailed information available from the airborne LVIS system, Carbomap estimates the same area to contain at least 19.8 million metric tons of carbon.

Photo: tostie14 Flickr photostream

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