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First datasets for national biomass and carbon dataset now available
Date:2/14/2008

Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center working to produce the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset for the year 2000 (NBCD2000) are releasing data from nine project mapping zones. All NBCD2000 data products are being made available for download on a zone-by-zone basis and free of charge from the NBCD2000 project website located at www.whrc.org/nbcd.

Through a combination of NASA satellite datasets, topographic survey data, land use/land cover information, and extensive forest inventory data collected by the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA), NBCD2000 will provide an invaluable baseline for quantifying the carbon stock in U.S. forests and will improve current methods of assessing the carbon flux between forests and the atmosphere.

According to Dr. Josef Kellndorfer, an associate scientist at the Center and project leader, The availability of a high resolution dataset containing estimates of forest biomass and associated carbon stock is an important step forward in enabling researchers to better understand the North American carbon balance.

As part of the NBCD2000 initiative, begun in 2005 and funded by NASAs Earth Science Program with additional support from the USGS/LANDFIRE, mapping is being conducted within 67 ecologically diverse regions, termed mapping zones, which span the conterminous United States. Of the nine completed zones, 5 were finished during a 2-year pilot phase. Work on the remaining zones will be completed at a rate of roughly one zone every seven days. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2009.

Wayne Walker, a research associate at the Center who is also working on the project adds, The data sets that are now available should be of interest to natural resource managers across the U.S. For the first time, high resolution estimates of vegetation canopy height and biomass are being produced consistently for the entire c
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Contact: Elizabeth Braun
ebraun@whrc.org
508-540-9900
Woods Hole Research Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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