Scientists have created the most accurate map of carbon distribution on Earth today, stored in the form of biomass in forests and shrubs.
The map was presented at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in the form of biomass. However, carbon can be released back into the atmosphere as a result of forest fires and deforestation. Tracking such changes plays a very important role in predicting climate change, scientists say.
Data for the map were obtained by several satellites in 2017-2018.
“Most of the carbon is stored in humid tropics, but the new map shows that biomass is widely distributed in other biomes,” says Richard Lucas, who leads the research team. All these ecosystems are undergoing unprecedented changes due to human activity, the expert notes.
The next step of the research team will be to create a map for 2018-2109 and quantify the changes that have occurred.