Martha Ledger

Name: Martha Ledger

Project title: Where has the peat gone? Determining regional scale carbon losses from tropical peatlands following drainage and deforestation.

Where based: University of Nottingham

Background: BSc Geography (2013, Durham University), PGCE (2014, Durham University), MA Education (2016, Durham University), MSc Climate Change (2017, UCL).

Project description

80% of peatlands in Indonesia and Malaysia are now drained for production of pulpwood and palm oil. As a result, increased peat decomposition and large scale forest fires are now significant contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. However, carbon losses from these processes remain poorly quantified because ground measurements are extraordinarily difficult; many sites are challenging to work in and are poorly accessible. One alternative is to make use of remote sensing methods, specifically In SAR, which allows frequent and widespread monitoring of surface deformation of peatlands.

This project aims to determine whether rate of subsidence of the peat surface measured by In SAR is a proxy for rate of carbon loss in tropical peatlands in Malaysia. In SAR will be combined with field measurements of subsidence, with peat carbon stock data using statistical regression modelling techniques to validate the use of subsidence as a proxy for carbon loss.


Twitter handle: @martha2602