The Icelandic forests appraisal started in 2005, to collect various information on forests and forestry in the country, based partly on data from nearly 300 regular test sites all over Iceland.
“We are actually here to assess the carbon content of these trees, and we do that by measuring their height and width,” explains Björn Traustason, a forestry commission research team member.
The methodology worked to in the project is part of an international system and results are routinely transplanted to reports, both domestically and internationally, as Iceland is obliged to catalogue and share data on its forests’ carbon sequestration. The results have been favourable.
“There is a lot of growth, and actually more growth than we expected. A great deal has happened in the past five years,” Björn says. He adds that trees have many advantages, and that they include tangibility. “The issue with things like the climate is that they are often very complicated and can be intangible, but one thing that is naturally highly tangible is this here,” he says, patting a tree trunk affectionately.
The group uses various tools, both high-tech and low, to measure the trees and their forest home.
“This tree here, which I am measuring here, has been measured thrice before, in 2007, 2012, and 2017. And now we are measuring for a fourth time,” Björn explains as he measures. “It has grown by over two metres in five years,” he concludes, happily.