National Physical Laboratory

A walk through a laser-scanned forest

Research from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UCL and Wageningen University on using lasers to accurately 'weigh' trees is featured on the BBC News site.

Image copyright iStock.com/konradlew

Joint NPL–UCL researcher Kim Calders created an animation of laser-scanned trees, which he presented at the British Ecological Society's (BES) annual meeting last week. The research behind the animation will help climate scientists take stock of how much carbon is locked within forests.

The new method uses accurate laser-scanning technology to measure each tree's volume, and sophisticated mathematical modelling and remote-sensing methods to make accurate estimates of biomass. The technique builds upon the existing density database, adding information without felling trees. This makes measurements of carbon content much more accurate.

Kim won the BES's prestigious Robert May Prize for his work earlier this year. The BES praised both the scope and promising nature of Kim's work, noting its potential for monitoring the world's carbon reserves and developing new climate-based policy.

Watch the video on BBC News

Find out more about NPL's work on 3D forest imaging

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Last Updated: 2 Aug 2017
Created: 19 Dec 2016

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