Photograph of the Yaoundé workshop shared by Elsa Ordway

Headline |

Elsa Ordway for Down to Earth — ‘The Congo more climate-resilient than Amazonia? Jury is still out’

Elsa Ordway, co-director of the Congo Basin Institute and Center for Tropical Research, recently collaborated with global experts in Cameroon to strategize a 10-year study on tropical forest ecology. The project, funded by NASA, aims to leverage the expertise of scientists and the remote sensing community to understand the resilience of tropical forests in the face of environmental challenges.

In a recent article for Down to Earth, Ordway elaborates on the study’s objectives, highlighting its focus on enhancing monitoring techniques, empowering Central African scientists through training programs and integrating data from both ground observations and satellite imaging. She also addresses evidence suggesting that Congo Basin forests may be more resilient to climate change than the Amazon.

“At the field scale, a lot of data collection is in these intact forests. It suggests that the Amazon has seen increasing tree mortality rates, which diminishes its forest capability to store carbon. In Central Africa though, we’re not seeing the same mortality rates or forest dynamics that would decrease its ability to store carbon,” Ordway said.