SINGAPORE has started an ambitious five-year project to measure its own carbon footprint, as well as the mitigating effect of the island’s greenery.
The authorities want to develop a monitoring system that tracks how much trees, soil and possibly even the grass help to reduce greenhouse gases.
An accurate inventory is needed since international groups, using different calculating techniques, have come up with widely fluctuating emissions figures.
To make sure the system passes muster, the National Parks Board has roped in the National Institute of Education (NIE) and the Austrian Natural Resources Management and International Cooperation Agency (Anrica).
The findings will be submitted regularly to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The project started last November and will be completed in 2018.
Satellite images will be used to classify Singapore’s vegetation into different categories. Sample land plots will be chosen, and researchers are expected to be in the field by the end of this year to collect data, such as trunk diameters, from vegetation.
Soil samples will also be taken.
Ground and satellite data will be plugged into established equations to calculate how much of the gases are absorbed by the various plant species here.
“The report will be an attempt to estimate, with the highest possible degree of accuracy, Singapore’s carbon inventory,” NIE lecturer and Nature Society (Singapore) president Shawn Lum said. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network