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Course Hot topic of environmental sciences (MO550C06E) is hosting foreign guests, who will give lectures and field or laboratory practices in different areas of scientific research.

V rámci kurzu Hot topic of environmental sciences zveme zahraniční hosty, vědce i praktiky z různých oblastí výzkumu. Výuka obvykle probíhá blokově, dle možností hosta, většinou jde o několik přednášek doplněných terénním nebo laboratorním cvičením.

Zde budou každý rok atualizovány informace o pozvaném přednášejícím a tématu kurzu.




Invited guest: Adam Hastie,  The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

This year's theme:  The Amazon basin carbon cycle: constraining spatial and temporal variation

Schedule: November -  December 2022, 3 events

Where: will be specified later



The Amazon basin is the largest rainforest and river in the world, and home to more than 10% of the world’s biodiversity. It is also an important component of the global carbon cycle, storing approximately 120 Gigatonnes of carbon in above and below-ground biomass, around 12 x annual fossil fuel emissions. Globally, forests (and other land ecosystems) are a crucial net carbon sink, offsetting about 30% of fossil fuel emissions annually.

Unfortunately, climate and land-use change threaten many of the crucial ecosystem services provided by the Amazon, not least its ability to act as a net carbon sink. In this series of lectures and workshops you will learn about the carbon cycle of the Amazon basin, and the data and models we can use to better understand its spatial and temporal variation.

You will learn how to use high resolution satellite imagery to drive machine learning models of landcover distribution. These can in turn be used to estimate landcover change and spatial and temporal variation in carbon. For this we will use open-source software, Google Earth Engine and QGIS.

High-resolution maps of landcover and carbon distribution are crucial for prompting and designing effective policies to protect and sustainably manage vital ecosystems like those of the Amazon. You will learn how Dr Hastie’s recent work is helping to inform the protection of Peruvian peatlands, some of the most carbon dense ecosystems in the world. 


Friedlingstein, P., et al (2022). Global Carbon Budget 2021.  Earth System Science Data, 14, 1917–2005, 2022, DOI: 10.5194/essd-14-1917-2022. https://essd.copernicus.org/articles/14/1917/2022/

Gatti, L.V., Basso, L.S., Miller, J.B. et al. Amazonia as a carbon source linked to deforestation and climate change. Nature 595, 388–393 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03629-6

Hastie, A., Honorio Coronado, E.N., Reyna, J. et al. Risks to carbon storage from land-use change revealed by peat thickness maps of Peru. Nat. Geosci. 15, 369–374 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-022-00923-4

Overview of the course

Lecture 1 (two hours). Introduction to the global carbon cycle and the Amazon basin carbon cycle and balance. Introduction to methods for estimating landcover and carbon stocks (and fluxes).

Workshop 1 (approximately four hours). Creating training samples in QGIS for landcover modelling, using high resolution remote sensing images. 

Workshop 2 (approximately four hours). Developing a random forest model to predict landcover distribution in Google earth engine, driven by remote sensing data and using samples created in Workshop 1 to train/ test the model. A demonstration of how these maps can in turn be used to predict variation in carbon density/ stocks.


exam requirements to be specified soon



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