Local surface temperature change due to expansion of oil palm plantation in Indonesia

Fatwa Ramdani, Trevor Moffiet, Masateru Hino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


A high world demand for crude palm oil has caused a reduction in the area of Indonesia's tropical rainforests over the past several decades. Our hypothesis is that the expansion of the area devoted to oil palm plantations at the expense of primary and secondary tropical rainforests will increase the local surface temperature. While similar studies of other crops have been reported, this is the first time this particular hypothesis has been investigated and reported using the remote sensing methods described in this paper. In this study, we used remotely sensed data to quantify land use changes from tropical rainforests to oil palm plantations, calculated the surface temperature from thermal infrared data supplied by band 6 of the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), examined the correlations of surface temperature to foliage cover, and conducted field work to verify the results obtained using the remotely sensed data. For this study, we used a new spectral index, Principal Polar Spectral Greenness (PPSG), that is potentially more sensitive than other index to small changes in foliage cover at high cover levels. The outcome of satellite image processing is only 0.2 °C different from direct temperature measurement in the field. Our study indicated that less density of the closed-canopy composition of oil palm trees resulted in higher surface temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Local surface temperature change due to expansion of oil palm plantation in Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this