Skip to Main Content
Terrestrial biological carbon sequestration: science for enhancement and implementationAuthor(s): Wilfred M. Post; James E. Amonette; Richard Birdsey; Charles T. Jr. Garten; R. Cesar Izaurralde; Philip Jardine; Julie Jastrow; Rattan Lal; Gregg Marland
Source: In: McPherson, Brian P.; Sundquist, Eric T.; eds. Carbon Sequestration and Its Role in the Global Carbon Cycle. Geophysical Monograph Series 183. American Geophysical Union. Devon, UK: 73-88.
Publication Series: Book
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (616.64 KB)
DescriptionThe purpose of this chapter is to review terrestrial biological carbon sequestration and evaluate the potential carbon storage capacity if present and new techniques are more aggressively utilized. Photosynthetic CO2 capture from the atmosphere and storage of the C in aboveground and belowground biomass and in soil organic and inorganic forms can be exploited for safe and affordable greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation [Watson et al., 2000]. Nevertheless, C sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere has not been seriously pursued since its introduction in the Kyoto Protocol over a decade ago. Concerns have been raised that C sequestration in the biosphere is finite and not permanent, that it is difficult to measure and monitor, that there would be "carbon leakage" outside of the mitigation activity, and that any attention paid to environmental sequestration would be a distraction from the central issue of reducing GHG emissions from energy production and use. International accord and success in reducing emissions from the energy system are not coming easily, and concerns about climate change are growing. It is time to reevaluate all available options that might not be permanent yet have the potential to buy time, bridging to a future when new energy system technologies and a transformed energy infrastructure can fully address the climate challenge. Terrestrial sequestration is one option large enough to make a contribution in the coming decades using proven land management methods and with the possibility that new technologies could significantly enhance the opportunity.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPost, Wilfred M.; Amonette, James E.; Birdsey, Richard; Garten, Charles T. Jr.; Izaurralde, R. Cesar; Jardine, Philip, M.; Jastrow, Julie; Lal, Rattan; Marland, Gregg. 2009. Terrestrial biological carbon sequestration: science for enhancement and implementation. In: McPherson, Brian P.; Sundquist, Eric T.; eds. Carbon Sequestration and Its Role in the Global Carbon Cycle. Geophysical Monograph Series 183. American Geophysical Union. Devon, UK: 73-88.
- From sink to source: Regional variation in U.S. forest carbon futures
- Status and potential of terrestrial carbon sequestration in West Virginia
- Chapter 9: Carbon fluxes across regions.
XML: View XML