Remote Sens. 2012, 4(5), 1369-1391; doi:10.3390/rs4051369
Article

Forest Cover Changes in Tropical South and Central America from 1990 to 2005 and Related Carbon Emissions and Removals

Received: 21 March 2012; in revised form: 24 April 2012 / Accepted: 26 April 2012 / Published: 11 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human-Induced Global Change)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: This paper outlines the methods and results for monitoring forest change and resulting carbon emissions for the 1990–2000 and 200–2005 periods carried out over tropical Central and South America. To produce our forest change estimates we used a systematic sample of medium resolution satellite data processed to forest change maps covering 1230 sites of 20 km by 20 km, each located at the degree confluence. Biomass data were spatially associated to each individual sample site so that annual carbon emissions could be estimated. For our study area we estimate that forest cover in the study area had fallen from 763 Mha (s.e. 10 Mha) in 1990 to 715 Mha (s.e. 10 Mha) in 2005. During the same period other wooded land (i.e., non-forest woody vegetation) had fallen from 191 Mha (s.e. 5.5 Mha) to 184 Mha (s.e. 5.5 Mha). This equates to an annual gross loss of 3.74 Mha∙y−1 of forests (0.50% annually) between 1990 and 2000, rising to 4.40 Mha∙y−1 in the early 2000s (0.61% annually), with Brazil accounting for 69% of the total losses. The annual carbon emissions from the combined loss of forests and other wooded land were calculated to be 482 MtC∙y−1 (s.e. 29 MtC∙y−1) for the 1990s, and 583 MtC∙y−1 (s.e. 48 MtC∙y−1) for the 2000 to 2005 period. Our maximum estimate of sinks from forest regrowth in tropical South America is 92 MtC∙y−1. These estimates of gross emissions correspond well with the national estimates reported by Brazil, however, they are less than half of those reported in a recent study based on the FAO country statistics, highlighting the need for continued research in this area.
Keywords: carbon emissions; deforestation; tropics; remote sensing; monitoring
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [1008 KB, Updated Version, uploaded 19 June 2014 00:19 CEST]
The original version is still available [1011 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014 00:19 CEST]

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Eva, H.D.; Achard, F.; Beuchle, R.; de Miranda, E.; Carboni, S.; Seliger, R.; Vollmar, M.; Holler, W.A.; Oshiro, O.T.; Barrena Arroyo, V.; Gallego, J. Forest Cover Changes in Tropical South and Central America from 1990 to 2005 and Related Carbon Emissions and Removals. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 1369-1391.

AMA Style

Eva HD, Achard F, Beuchle R, de Miranda E, Carboni S, Seliger R, Vollmar M, Holler WA, Oshiro OT, Barrena Arroyo V, Gallego J. Forest Cover Changes in Tropical South and Central America from 1990 to 2005 and Related Carbon Emissions and Removals. Remote Sensing. 2012; 4(5):1369-1391.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eva, Hugh D.; Achard, Frédéric; Beuchle, René; de Miranda, Evaristo; Carboni, Silvia; Seliger, Roman; Vollmar, Michael; Holler, Wilson A.; Oshiro, Osvaldo T.; Barrena Arroyo, Victor; Gallego, Javier. 2012. "Forest Cover Changes in Tropical South and Central America from 1990 to 2005 and Related Carbon Emissions and Removals." Remote Sens. 4, no. 5: 1369-1391.

Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert