January 10, 2011
WHRC Activities at COP16 Highlighted in Interviews and Excerpts
Many of the Center’s activities at COP16, held in December 2010 in Cancun, focused on the contributions of terrestrial carbon science in climate change solutions. The videos highlighted below showcase those contributions.
On Thursday, December 2, the Woods Hole Research Center hosted a day-long workshop on Integrating Science into International Climate Policy. These sessions created an opportunity for information-sharing and discussion on key issues currently being addressed in international climate policy negotiations, as well as those issues that may enter the dialogue.
- WHRC participants are featured in a short interview, discussing their part of the day. Excerpts from WHRC presentations are included via links from the agenda. To watch these clips, visit: http://www.whrc.org/policy/cop16_workshop.html
Much of the Center’s effort in Cancun focused on the recent release of new carbon flux numbers and new biomass datasets. The new carbon flux numbers show a decrease in emissions from tropical deforestation from 12-15% to roughly 10% of annual global CO2 emissions. While the decrease does potentially show a decrease in tropical deforestation, the number is more largely driven by the rapidly rising emissions from fossil fuel use. In fact, tropical deforestation is still about 13,000,000 hectares per year. Uncertainty in emissions rates is influenced by two things: deforestation rates and forest carbon density, or carbon stocks. The new dataset shows a significant increase over previous inventory-based (rather than satellite-based) estimates of aboveground carbon stocks. This new dataset is derived from a combination of MODIS and LIDAR data and is an innovative coupling of satellite data with co-located field measurements. This mapping activity reduces the uncertainty in the carbon stocks by capturing the variability in carbon stocks across the landscape. This allows for a more precise picture than just a national aggregate and allows an opportunity for tropical countries to have access to a spatially consistent baseline.
- Acting Director and Senior Scientist R. A. Houghton and Assistant Scientist Alessandro Baccini discuss the two: http://www.whrc.org/mapping/pantropical/carbon_dataset_video.html
- They also gave an interview on the topic at the Climate Change Studio: http://www.climate-change.tv/richard-houghton-alessandro-baccini-december-2010
To learn more about the overall Center presence in Cancun, please visit: www.whrc.org/cop16.