NASA counts on new scientific innovation to estimate the carbon sequestration in Patagonia
The Chilean company, The Real Eco State, and the foundation WEConserv will use a technological drone and model a 3D version of the most iconic Chile’s green areas.
The Real Eco State, which exclusively specializes in marketing land for conservation purposes in Chilean Patagonia, has partnered the mission that NASA and the University of Maryland have been working on for four years to map large green areas on the planet and calculate accurately the carbon sequestration they perform.
The mission Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) that started in 2018 uses LIDIAR technology, which employs the physical properties of light to estimate the height of any natural or artificial objects through laser rays controlled by the International Space Station.
This method has released the first high-resolution images of the Earth in 3D; this allows accurate measurements of the height of forests and defines crucial processes such as the water cycle.
The initiative also aims at taking inventory of the capacity of large geographical extensions to sequester carbon and other forest parameters remotely.
NASA’s program has focused on Patagonia since this represents one of the planet’s large extensions of forests.
In this scenario, The Real Eco State and WEConserve, a non-profit foundation whose mission is land conservation and the generation of scientific knowledge about it, finished this project without employing satellites.
Both institutions started to run a specialized drone with LIDAR technology in Patagonia, which can release accurate data necessary to measure the information of GEDI in remote zones where satellites could not cover them correctly.
Taryn Fuentes and Aarón Grau, experts at WEConserv, confirmed that estimating the carbon sequestration of large extensions of forests is a real challenge.
“We are highly proud of collaborating with science by obtaining accurate data through a specialized drone which validates its estimations in Patagonian forests, one of the largest green areas on this planet”.
The data obtained from the research will release more accurate information on how Patagonia helps the planet regenerate.
According to WEConserv’s projections, each hectare of Patagonian forests sequesters an average of 105 tons of carbon, equivalent to what 35 people generate each year; thus, Chilean Patagonia´s 45 million hectares would capture carbon emissions equivalent to 15 million Chileans yearly.
The founder and CEO of The Real Eco State, Felipe Escalona, explains that the creation of this scientific information will allow all people who have invested or wanted to conserve Patagonia by building small private conservation parks, exactly know how much carbon their plot of land sequesters.
He finished by saying: "who knows, this may also be a chance to take part in the carbon credit market, encouraging the private conservation of our pristine Patagonia."
Source: Diario Sostenible