Canopy: Development of a commercial global land carbon stock and flux database
Mark Maslin awarded Royal Society Industrial Fellowship
Professor Mark Maslin has been awarded a four-year Royal Society Industrial Fellowship. This will allow him to work with Carbon Associates Limited (CAL), a company he co- founded with Dr. Matt Tyburski at UCL in February 2008, building on the work of the Nobel laureate, Professor Steve Running (a member of the CAL Advisory Board).
CAL has developed a patented process to allow the measurement of global annual carbon flux and stock since 2000. Global carbon emissions rose to an all-time high in 2010, between 13% and 25% caused by deforestation and land use changes. Of all global carbon emissions, however, only 47% remain in the atmosphere, while 26% are absorbed by the land biosphere and 26% by the oceans. In addressing climate change it has become increasingly important to understand, measure and evaluate the management of land carbon. £4 billion pounds was spent on monitoring it in 2010–11 but the quality of data often remains extremely poor.
CAL has become a global leader in the provision of land carbon storage information covering all the main land use types and carbon pools. It has developed its technology by combining reflectance data from the NASA MODIS satellite with ecosystems modelling and field data to estimate monthly-to-annual carbon stock and flux at a global resolution of 1 kilometre or 250 metres. Over the last 3 years the process has been tested through extensive field trials in Lesotho, Gabon, US, UK, Australia and Ecuador.
The project, Canopy: Development of a commercial global land carbon stock and flux database, will allow Mark to work with key strategic partners (Logica, DMC International Imaging Ltd, Helveta, EADS Astrium and UK Universities) to build a UK based business and academic consortium to produce state-of-the-art global land carbon estimates at the highest possible resolution.
Carbon Associates, with DMCii and UCL have also won one of only four UK Technology Strategy Board 'Space for Growth' projects, worth £1.2M, to support CAL in taking its proof of concept through to commercialization.
Royal Society Industry Fellowships:
Technology Strategy Board 'Space for Growth: