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California Agriculture (Spring 2022)

Team: Rachael Ross (Project Lead), Alex Posen, Shreya Suri, Stefanie Mendoza

Summary: California seeks to become a carbon neutral state by 2045. To track progress toward this goal, it is important to quantify the amount of carbon stored by various landcover types across the state. Vineyards and orchards make up a large portion of California's agricultural landcover and store considerable amounts of carbon. For this project, NASA DEVELOP partnered with the California Air Resources Board to estimate the age and carbon stock of crop-specific agricultural regions across California between 1984 and 2021. The DEVELOP team created the Perennial Agriculture Age and Carbon Estimation Tool (PAACET), a Google Earth Engine tool that employs Earth observation from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) to estimate the age and carbon stock of vineyards and almond, walnut, pistachio, and orange orchards. The team used an ocular sampling accuracy assessment consisting of 53 sample vineyards and orchards and found that on average, PAACET estimated ages within ±4.3 years of their actual age. The tool estimated that vineyards and walnut orchards are the oldest woody croplands, and almond orchards store the largest total carbon.