Articles | Volume 13, issue 3
Research article
06 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 06 Mar 2013

The application of FORMOSAT-2 high-temporal- and high-spatial resolution imagery for monitoring open straw burning and carbon emission detection

C.-C. Liu, P.-Y. Tseng, and C.-Y. Chen

Abstract. Rice is produced in more than 95 countries worldwide and is a staple food for over half of the world's population. Rice is also a major food crop of Taiwan. There are numerous rice crops planted on the western plains of Taiwan, and, after the harvest season, the left-over straw is often burned on-site. The air pollutants from the burning emissions include CO2, CO, CH4 and other suspended particles, most of these being the greenhouse gases which cause global climate change. In this study FORMOSAT-2 satellite images and ground-truth data from 2008 and 2009 are used to conduct supervised classification and calculate the extent of the straw burning areas. It was found that 10% of the paddies in the study area were burned after harvest during this 2-yr period. On this pro rata basis, we calculated the overall carbon emissions from the burning of the straw. The findings showed that these few farmers produced up to 34 000 tons of carbon emissions in 2008, and 40 000 tons in 2009. The study results indicate that remotely sensed images can be used to efficiently evaluate the important characteristics for carbon emission detection. It also provides quantitative results that are relevant to tracking sources of transport pollution, postharvest burning, and Asian dust in Taiwan.