- Start date: 1 June 2018
- End date: 31 May 2021
- Funder: European Space Agency
- Co-investigators: Professor Oliver Phillips FRS
Mankind has exploited forest biomass for materials and energy for millennia, but growth in human populations and increasing demands for resources are driving large changes in the extent and condition of forests, including the amount of carbon they store and exchange with the atmosphere.
The Global Climate Observing System considers above-ground biomass (AGB) to be an Essential Climate Variable due to its functions as both a source of atmospheric CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) when forest is lost under Land Use Change or by degradation, and as a sink for CO2 due to forest growth. Information on forest biomass can also play a much wider role in understanding and predicting climate, for example in model initialisation, model testing, estimation of carbon turnover, inferring the forest disturbance regime, and data assimilation in carbon cycle and climate models.