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SMART and NTU Singapore researchers develop method to measure carbon stored in bogs

Apr 2024 | No Comment

Researchers at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), have developed a method that can accurately measure the amount of carbon stored in bogs.

 The new method by the SMART-NTU team uses satellite data and reduces the need for on-site sampling to derive the three-dimensional shapes of raised peatlands, also known as bogs, and hence the amount of carbon it contains. The new mathematical model replaces earlier models whose accuracy is limited to specific bog conditions and was developed with collaborators from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Potsdam, Stanford University and the University of Minnesota.

 Measuring carbon stocks in raised peatlands is challenging. The variable shape of bogs and varying depths of their carbon-rich soil known as peat, combined with their inaccessibility and vast size in many tropical regions, makes obtaining accurate data difficult, say the team of researchers.

 Measuring the amount of carbon stored in peatlands helps governments and policymakers assess the environmental impact of converting these lands for agricultural, industrial or urban uses, particularly by understanding potential carbon emissions resulting from peatland drainage.

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