Our Mission

The Global Carbon Index seeks to provide a method for presenting productivity data derived from satellite imagery, specifically, Net Primary Productivity (NPP), using a recognizable market charting format. Biospheric productivity is directly related to terrestrial and aquatic carbon sequestration capacity of ecosystems for any given region. Productivity is also indicative of the general health of an ecosystem, reflecting, among other issues, water abundance and quality. The mission of the Global Carbon Index is two-fold:

  • Determine the value of undeveloped lands. From NPP data provided by MODIS, terrestrial productivity can given a dollar value. Pricing the productivity of land vegetation provides an objective means of estimating the value of natural ecosystem services in order to defray external costs. Phase 1.1 will include analyses of albedo data to estimate the dollar value of sea ice and glaciers.
  • Develop a price for carbon. By determining a general productivity level for an index based on NASA's NPP of sites, carbon can be priced based on objective data indicating supply and demand for CO2. NPP, normally measured in kilograms of carbon per square meter per year (scaling factor of 0.0001), is multiplied by a set carbon price, or $10/tonne (metric ton) for the year 2000. The price is then adjusted to maintain a baseline level given carbon uptake and loss or "supply and demand" for biospheric carbon sequestration services.

Global Carbon Index efforts currently focus on terrestrial ecosystems. NPP values for aquatic ecosystems will be evaluated during Phase 2.