Overview & Applicability
Forest carbon is stored in harvested wood products. However many forest carbon calculators do not include a harvested wood products category, and estimating the amount of carbon in this pool can be cumbersome. PRESTO (PRoduct EStimation Tool Online) lets users estimate the carbon stored in harvested wood products and the changes in this quantity over time, using some basic details about a harvest. Users need to register to use the tool, however registration is free.
PRESTO provides general carbon storage estimates for wood products based on geographic region, wood type, and harvest volume.
PRESTO was developed by scientists with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station and was released in 2014. The tool is based on the published study Methods for calculating forest ecosystem and harvested carbon with standard estimates for forest types of the United States. PRESTO is based on the methods and ratios that were developed to support voluntary greenhouse gas reporting; these methods are consistent with the IPCC guidance on harvested wood products.
Inputs and Outputs
Inputs include a few basic measurements about the harvested stand, including:
- U.S. region in which the stand is located (drop-down list)
- Size of the stand in Acres or Hectares
- Actual volume of sawlogs and pulpwood harvested, or the relative proportion of sawlogs and pulpwood in the total harvest. This information is needed for hardwood and softwood.
- Notes or descriptive terms to identify each separate stand.
There is also an option to upload data for several different stand in batch mode. A template helper to help format data correctly for batch upload is available at http://presto.essa.com/Stands/StandBatch.aspx.
Outputs include several calculated carbon estimates expressed in tonnes per hectare. Calculated values include total carbon storage after 100 years (C100) and average annual carbon storage (CAvg) for:
- Products: End-use products that have not been discarded or otherwise destroyed, such as construction products, containers, and paper products.
- Landfill: Discarded wood and paper products in landfills.
- Stored: The sum of Products and Landfill
- EnergyCapture: Combustion of wood products with energy capture as the carbon is emitted to the atmosphere (e.g. production of energy from forest products that could offset energy production from another source – also called Energy).
- NoCapture: Carbon in harvested wood emitted to the atmosphere through combustion or
- decay without energy recapture (also called Emissions).
A 10 Year Report is also produced, which shows carbon storage calculations in 10-year increments, so you can see how carbon storage changes over time for each of the five storage categories. All calculations can be exported to Excel.
Restrictions and Limitations
Please note that the carbon ratios that PRESTO uses were developed as general ratios for each region, compiled from available data. Species-specific ratios were not developed as the available data sets would be too small to produce values that could be widely applied. As with any calculator, the results are only as good as the data entered – the tool will not flag or correct extreme values that have been entered mistakenly.
Accessing the tool and additional information
Register for and access the tool at http://presto.essa.com
Detailed guidance can be found in PRESTO: online calculation of carbon in harvested wood products: http://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/pubs/gtr/gtr_nrs141.pdf