Skip to Main Content
Greenhouse gas emissions versus forest sequestration in temperate rain forests—a southeast Alaska analysisAuthor(s): David Nicholls; Trista Patterson
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-918. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 25 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
View PDF (4.0 MB)
DescriptionSitka, Alaska, has substantial hydroelectric resources, limited driving distances, and a conservation-minded community, all suggesting strong opportunities for achieving a low community carbon footprint. In this research we evaluate the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from Sitka and compare this to the estimated CO2 sequestration potential of forest ecosystems. We determine whether a carbonneutral community is attained when these two factors are balanced.
Our analysis consisted of two parts: estimating anthropogenic CO2 emissions from Sitka, and comparing this value to estimates of carbon sequestration from forests on Baranof Island in southeast Alaska. We found total estimated anthropogenic emissions from Sitka to be in the range of 100,000 to 150,000 Mg carbon per year. Carbon sequestration by forests on Baranof Island was conservatively estimated to be more than 250,000 Mg carbon per year. This estimate was extrapolated from studies evaluating net ecosystem productivity of forests similar to those in southeast Alaska.
Further reductions in anthropogenic emissions are still possible in Sitka. The expansion of the Blue Lake hydroelectric generating facility (adding up to 34,000 megawatt-hours per year of energy) could further reduce Sitka’s carbon footprint.
- 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.
CitationNicholls, David; Patterson, Trista. 2015. Greenhouse gas emissions versus forest sequestration in temperate rain forests—a southeast Alaska analysis. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-918. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 25 p.
Keywordscarbon sequestration, net ecosystem productivity, greenhouse gas emissions, temperate rain forest.
- Community energy management in Sitka, Alaska: What strategies can help increase energy independence?
- Economic and environmental benefits of community-scale cordwood hydronic heaters in Alaska—three case studies
- Impacts of land use, restoration, and climate change on tropical peat carbon stocks in the twenty-first century: implications for climate mitigation
XML: View XML