Climate change mitigation in forest ecosystems

Climate change mitigation in forest ecosystems. 7.5 ECTS

Forests are known to store large amounts of carbon in their woody biomass. Carbon in the form of the Greenhouse gas CO2 is one of the main contributors to climate change. It is emitted in large quantities through the burning of fossil fuels and other anthropogenic processes and enters into the atmosphere, thickening the atmosphere so heath from the sun cannot easily escape anymore. Trees a capable to sequester this carbon form the atmosphere thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses. On the other hand, deforestation and forest fires lead to carbon emission when the carbon that was sequestered in the trees is emitted through the burning process or decay. It will be obvious that monitoring the forest and woodland area and condition are important.

In this course the principles of the climate change process and the carbon cycle will be explained. Various Remote Sensing based tools and techniques are presented to monitor forest area and  subsequent focus is on modelling and assessing the amount of carbon stored in forest and woodlands, and changes therein. Very high resolution optical remote sensing will be used but also Radar, Lidar and data acquired by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Also, the effects of land use change on carbon emission will be simulated. Forest fires are a major contributor to carbon emission and special attention will be given to this. In this course you will work with different types of software, classifiers and models.

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