Remote sensing support for the gain-loss approach for greenhouse gas inventories

Ronald E. McRoberts*, Erik Næsset, Christophe Sannier, Stephen V. Stehman, Erkki O. Tomppo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


For tropical countries that do not have extensive ground sampling programs such as national forest inventories, the gain-loss approach for greenhouse gas inventories is often used. With the gain-loss approach, emissions and removals are estimated as the product of activity data defined as the areas of human-caused emissions and removals and emissions factors defined as the per unit area responses of carbon stocks for those activities. Remotely sensed imagery and remote sensing-based land use and land use change maps have emerged as crucial information sources for facilitating the statistically rigorous estimation of activity data. Similarly, remote sensing-based biomass maps have been used as sources of auxiliary data for enhancing estimates of emissions and removals factors and as sources of biomass data for remote and inaccessible regions. The current status of statistically rigorous methods for combining ground and remotely sensed data that comply with the good practice guidelines for greenhouse gas inventories of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1891
Number of pages18
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Activity data
  • Emissions factor
  • IPCC good practice guidelines
  • Removals factor
  • Statistical estimator


Dive into the research topics of 'Remote sensing support for the gain-loss approach for greenhouse gas inventories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this