From sink to source: Regional variation in U.S. forest carbon futuresAuthor(s): Dave Wear; John W. Coulston
Source: Scientific Reports
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
Download Publication (0 B)
The sequestration of atmospheric carbon (C) in forests has partially offset C emissions in the United States (US) and might reduce overall costs of achieving emission targets, especially while transportation and energy sectors are transitioning to lower-carbon technologies. Using detailed forest inventory data for the conterminous US, we estimate forests’ current net sequestration of atmospheric C to be 173 Tg yr−1, offsetting 9.7% of C emissions from transportation and energy sources. Accounting for multiple driving variables, we project a gradual decline in the forest C emission sink over the next 25 years (to 112 Tg yr−1) with regional differences. Sequestration in eastern regions declines gradually while sequestration in the Rocky Mountain region declines rapidly and could become a source of atmospheric C due to disturbances such as fire and insect epidemics. C sequestration in the Pacific Coast region stabilizes as forests harvested in previous decades regrow. Scenarios simulating climate-induced productivity enhancement and afforestation policies increase sequestration rates, but would not fully offset declines from aging and forest disturbances. Separating C transfers associated with land use changes from sequestration clarifies forests’ role in reducing net emissions and demonstrates that retention of forest land is crucial for protecting or enhancing sink strength.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationWear, David N.; Coulston, John W. 2015. From sink to source: Regional variation in U.S. forest carbon futures. Scientific Reports, Vol. 5: 16518-.
- Complex forest dynamics indicate potential for slowing carbon accumulation in the southeastern United States
- Forest carbon dynamics associated with growth and disturbances in Oklahoma and Texas, 1992-2006
- An analysis of the carbon balance of the Arctic Basin from 1997 to 2006
XML: View XML