Technology can and should be used for good, says Google. In term of carbon trading scheme, Lidar is introduced as technology used for estimate ..more accurate, the amount of the carbon stored in a forest. Lidar works by broadcasting electromagnetic waves towards a target and then building up a picture from the reflection. Lidar, says The Economist, has cousins: radar and sonar. Lidar refers to light detection and ranging.
In conventional methods, to estimate the carbon stored in a forest we need to conduct field measurement. Develop sample plots, measure some variables attributed to trees and take some sample soil. Then, the value carbon stored in a hectare of forest can be calculated using an algorithm.
To broadcast electromagnetic waves, it needs an aircraft-borne. A sensor on the aircraft records the time it takes to receive the backscattering of pulses, and that is used to compute distances to the forest canopy and to the soil beneath. A three-dimensional image of the forest that can be correlated with, and calibrated by, the efforts of the chaps with the tape measures.
And that, in turn, can be used to estimate the amount of carbon stored in the plot examined, and extrapolated to calculate the carbon stored in larger areas of forest that have been scanned by lidar, but not measured with tapes.
The Economist publishes how lidar works in Nepal forest which included in a latest carbon trading mechanism, REDD. This Nepal REDD project seems voluntary mechanism attached with the new experimental method of carbon measurement. If the lidar method works, maybe the quantification of carbon stored in a forest is more simple and short to done.
The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme agreed at the United Nations’ climate-change conference in Cancún last December may eventually be worth $30 billion a year. Nepal wants a slice of that. Lidar monitoring may provide a way of making sure it is delivering on its side of the bargain
However, lidar is part of bigger methodology in REDD mechanism. There issues on leakage that should be addressed. There are some methodology in quantification of carbon credit–it must be validated scientifically before it used in a project of national or sub-national level.