Getting Your Start In the Growing Carbon Market: GIS Technology Helps Landowners and Foresters

carbon_market…from National Woodlands, Winter 2009…

“Fossil fuel emissions from manufacturing, transportation, and energy production lead to a host of problems including global warming. Forest researchers have developed a means of monitoring and counterbalancing our need for goods and services with nature’s ability to cleanse the atmosphere of harmful emissions to the air. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are very useful tools to measure and better recognize these trade-offs. It also provides a basis for designing land management plans. These systems have the capability to combine many layers of data, model those data in many ways, and generate reports and maps that make it easier to comprehend a complex problem.

“One of the greenhouse gasesthat contribute to global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2). Natural processes that have evolved over eons offset the impact of greenhouse gases with reservoirs such as forest and oceans. In these places photosynthesis removes carbon from the atmosphere. Growing trees convert, or sequester, CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into wood. Foresters are using geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze forests’ carbon sequestration rates. This technology can also be implemented to reveal opportunities in carbon trading to gain economic advantages from sustainable forest management.”