Remote sensing for cost-effective blue carbon accounting

Malerba, Martino E., Duarte de Paula Costa, Micheli, Friess, Daniel A., Schuster, Lukas, Young, Mary A., Lagomasimo, David, Serrano, Oscar, Hickey, Sharyn M., York, Paul H., Rasheed, Michael, Lefcheck, Jonathan, Radford, Ben, Atwood, Trisha, Ierodiaconou, Daniel, and Macreadie, Peter (2023) Remote sensing for cost-effective blue carbon accounting. Earth-Science Reviews, 238. 104337.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (5MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Blue carbon ecosystems (BCE) include mangrove forests, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows, all of which are currently under threat, putting their contribution to mitigating climate change at risk. Although certain challenges and trade-offs exist, remote sensing offers a promising avenue for transparent, replicable, and cost-effective accounting of many BCE at unprecedented temporal and spatial scales. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has issued guidelines for developing blue carbon inventories to incorporate into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Yet, there is little guidance on remote sensing techniques for monitoring, reporting, and verifying blue carbon assets. This review constructs a unified roadmap for applying remote sensing technologies to develop cost-effective carbon inventories for BCE – from local to global scales. We summarise and discuss (1) current standard guidelines for blue carbon inventories; (2) traditional and cutting-edge remote sensing technologies for mapping blue carbon habitats; (3) methods for translating habitat maps into carbon estimates; and (4) a decision tree to assist users in determining the most suitable approach depending on their areas of interest, budget, and required accuracy of blue carbon assessment. We designed this work to support UNFCCC-approved IPCC guidelines with specific recommendations on remote sensing techniques for GHG inventories. Overall, remote sensing technologies are robust and cost-effective tools for monitoring, reporting, and verifying blue carbon assets and projects. Increased appreciation of these techniques can promote a technological shift towards greater policy and industry uptake, enhancing the scalability of blue carbon as a Natural Climate Solution worldwide.

Item ID: 77873
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6828
Keywords: Blue carbon ecosystems; Nationally Determined Contributions; Earth observation; Emission/removal factors; Seagrass; Mangroves; Wetlands
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación/Agencia Estatal de Investigación/FEDER (MCIN/AEI/FEDER), Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network, MarineGEO Program, ICoAST program, University of Western Australia, CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Western Australian Department of Fisheries
Projects and Grants: ARC grant DE220100752, ARC Discovery Grant DP200100575, MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, Michael E. Tennenbaum Secretarial Scholar gift, Alfred Deakin Fellowship scheme, MCIN/AEI/FEDER I + D + i Projects RYC2019-027073-I, MCIN/AEI/FEDER PIE HOLOCENO 20213AT014, AIMS Blue Carbon Capability Development Funding grant
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 22:55
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370203 Greenhouse gas inventories and fluxes @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 40%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180201 Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190205 Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives) @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 47
Last 12 Months: 47
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page