Skip to main content

Geoinformation technologies, spatio-temporal approaches, and full carbon account for improving accuracy of GHG inventories

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Carbon management and forests

Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories involve uncertainties because some data are unavailable, imprecise or incomplete and because of limited knowledge of some processes. Reducing this uncertainty is vital for maintaining the credibility, quality of compliance and proper functioning of carbon trading systems.

Climate Change and Environment

The GESAPU project was established to improve the accuracy of GHG inventories at the national level. It particularly addressed countries with widely different regions and/or extensive forests, where standard inventory procedures fail to produce an accurate picture. The solution was to use spatially distributed inventories and more detailed modelling of forests. Researchers used multi-level mathematical models, digital maps and geo-referenced databases to develop a spatial GHG inventory for Poland. A geographic information system rooted geo-referenced database was created that enabled a GHG inventory to be created from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines. A resolution of 2 km x 2 km was compiled for the inventory. Further possible reduction in uncertainties was examined by modifying the methodology, accounting scheme, and models used to obtain a verified full carbon account (FCA) of forest ecosystems. A landscape ecosystem approach served as a background for the methodology. Forests were considered significant due to their highly complicated and poorly understood role in global carbon cycles and the complicated structure of forest ecosystems. Forests are an important part of the Ukrainian landscape, so the consortium developed an advanced approach to assess significant components of the forest FCA for the country. Researchers created hybrid forest maps of Ukraine with spatial resolution of 300 m x 300 m. The map contained the main parameters such as tree species, age and site index, using a technique that integrated statistics, remote sensing and in situ information. At present, disturbances such as disease and pest outbreaks and illegal logging have a significant impact on carbon cycling in Ukrainian forests. However, climate change may represent a more serious threat, especially for forests growing in dryer conditions. The study therefore outlined the main approach for adaption to and mitigation against the negative impacts of climate change. The main value of GESAPU was that it investigated the links between sustainable forest/land-use management practices and carbon management. The results will be used to improve the accuracy of GHG inventories by reducing uncertainty.


Carbon management, forests, GHG inventory, full carbon account, climate change

Discover other articles in the same domain of application