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BIOMASS: first steps from selection to reality

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Presentation on theme: "BIOMASS: first steps from selection to reality"— Presentation transcript:

1 BIOMASS: first steps from selection to reality
Shaun Quegan University of Sheffield CTCD - National Centre for Earth Observation

2 Structure of talk What does BIOMASS do and why? What is it? Where are we? What needs doing?

3 Biomass will map forest biomass, height and
change with unprecedented accuracy Forest biomass and forest height: global, 200 m scale, every 6 months for 4 years, 20% accuracy in biomass, 20-30% accuracy in height Disturbances: global, at 50 m scale BIOMASS will produce a series of global maps of forest biomass, forest height and forest disturbance at a precision, accuracy and resolution that will revolutionise our knowledge of the biosphere, its dynamics, and its interactions with the atmosphere. Specifically, these maps will help answer an urgent question: “What is the role of biomass in the global carbon cycle?”

4 Biomass is strongly linked to societal benefits
Forest biomass is basic to the energy, material, environmental protection, biodiversity & cultural benefits offered by forests Note : ~80% of the energy use in sub-Saharan Africa comes from biomass burning

5 Largest biomass uncertainty
Biomass is needed to calculate carbon fluxes, so crucial for climate and treaties Land use change Land use change reforestation fire & climate warming drought pests regrowth Reducing Emissions from Deforestation & Degradation (UN-REDD+) Global Forest Observations Initiative Where are biomass estimates most uncertain and where are the critical zones of forest change? The Tropics and Asia have limited inventory systems, and incomplete data. The tropics have high biomass and ongoing LUC. Climate change, including warming and drought may have impacts in tropical and boreal zones. Reforestation is occurring in China at high rates. Pests and forest regrowth are documented in North America. The UN programme on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation is focused on the tropics, as this is where LUC occurs - but lacks appropriate data to determine biomass changes. *********** Be prepared to mention SOTR Largest biomass uncertainty

6 (Polarimetric SAR Interferometry)
The Biomass mission will make 3 types of measurement relevant to biomass PolSAR (SAR Polarimetry) PolInSAR (Polarimetric SAR Interferometry) x y z o TomoSAR (SAR Tomography) x y z o x y z o

7 Timeline May 2013: BIOMASS selected November 2013: 1st meeting of the new Mission Advisory Group; Phase B1 industrial BIOMASS design studies placed. June 2014: 2nd MAG meeting Activities around African airborne and in situ campaign. KO of initial science studies (Level 2 studies; in situ networks) October 2014: B1 studies completed November 2014: review by PBEO and approval for phase B2 March 2015: ITT for Phase B2 June 2015: Phase B2/C/D begins 2020: Planned launch date

8 Mission budget Total budget = €470M Industrial return = €220M; this must satisfy geo-return Science budget = €10M. Implication: national funding is crucial to develop the science programme underpinning BIOMASS

9 Calibration is crucial, and teaches us about the ionosphere
07/22/12 Calibration is crucial, and teaches us about the ionosphere Orbit cycle n Orbit cycle n+1 Calibration, Ionospheric correction Polarimetry HH HV VV Phasedifferences Polarimetry + Interferometry Retrieval algorithm The need to map biomass drives us immediately towards radar. Optical sensors see biochemistry, radar sensitive to structure. What sort of radar? Polarimetry (figs on R) Repeat pass for interferometry Both critical as we can see Forest biomass Forest height Forest disturbance 9

10 Campaign data for testing retrieval methods and assessing performance
Krycklan Remningstorp Alaska Landes Maine La Selva, Costa Rica Paracou F.Guiana Kalimantan Colombia Major recent ESA campaigns: Kalimantan 2004 (Indrex) Remningstorp 2007 (BioSAR 1), 2010 (BioSAR 3) Krycklan 2008 (BioSAR 2) F. Guiana 2009 (TropiSAR), (TropiScat) ESA campaigns non-ESA campaigns

11 Working with key worldwide in situ networks
In situ network led by Smithsonian, including Centre for Tropical Forest Science Rainfor Afritron

12 Global consistency in the biomass – P-band backscatter relationship: why?
Similar power-law relationships between backscatter and biomass are found for all forests where we have data: Inversion techniques need to deal with data dispersion and differences between different types of forest

13 Exploiting biomass data to learn about forest mortality
If rate of loss of biomass is proportional to biomass, with rate coefficient α, residence time then where is mean production of biomass. What can we infer about forest mortality from current sub-optimal estimates of biomass and Net Production?

14 Final Remarks Six years is not long, and a lot needs to be done.
BIOMASS relies on supporting science activities and can provide a framework around which science activities can cluster, to mutual benefit There is a need to grow the community of scientists interacting with the BIOMASS mission, especially younger scientists Six years is a long time for some of us!


16 Area (Millions of hectares)
Global forest cover & biomass distribution is concentrated within the tropics Total Forest Area: 31% of the land surface Forest Biome Area (Millions of hectares) Biomass (tons/hectare) Total Biomass (gigatons) Boreal 1372 83-128 Temperate 1038 Tropical 1755 TOTAL 4165 mean We know that global forest cover & biomass distribution is concentrated within the tropics. There are significant forests also located in temperate and boreal latitudes. In all cases the is significant uncertainty among current biomass estimates. Even the total global biomass estimates vary by a factor of two. ESA GlobCover map Biomass is concentrated within the tropics – but the numbers shown here have large uncertainties particularly around the equator Upscaling is key because of the global distribution of forests – their enormous extent is a major challenge to monitoring. The map shows the distribution of forests globally – greener colours reflect more biomass. T Pan et al., 2011; Houghton et al.,2009

17 Forest biomass plays a key role in the carbon cycle and hence in climate change
Biomass is ~50% carbon. Changes in forest biomass represent carbon sources (deforestation and forest degradation) and carbon sinks (forest growth). Forest biomass is crucial in the 2 fluxes on the right – but these are tied to GCP numbers

18 ESA’s 7th Earth Explorer mission
My name is Mathew Williams. I am an ecologist from the University of Edinburgh. I am here to present the scientific justification for the BIOMASS mission. My colleagues will continue the presentation – detailing the mission concept, the measurement system, and the performance

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