Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): John Kirkland; Tara Barrett
    Date: 2016
    Source: Science Findings 182. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
    Publication Series: Science Findings
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.0 MB)


    The Chugach and Tongass National Forests are changing, possibly in response to global warming. Forested areas within Alaska's temperate rain forests are creeping into areas that were previously too cold or too wet. These forests are also becoming denser. As biomass increases, the amount of carbon stored in the forest also increases.
    Tara Barrett, a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, recently measured these changes. She and her colleagues compared Forest Inventory and Analysis survey data collected from 1995 to 2003 with follow-up inventories taken from 2004 to 2010. The comparison showed that carbon mass increased 4.5 percent in live trees in the Chugach. Carbon storage remained about the same in the Tongass; however, tree species there changed slightly. These observed changes in the Chugach and Tongass National Forests may be related to warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    This research is being used by the U.S. Forest Service and other government agencies to assess the vulnerability of Alaska's forests and to plan for their future. The Chugach National Forest, for example, used it to establish a baseline assessment of carbon stocks in accordance with 2012 forest planning rules.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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.


    Kirkland, John; Barrett, Tara. 2016. Colossal carbon! Disturbance and biomass dynamics in Alaska's national forests. Science Findings 182. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.


    climate change, carbon, Chugach, Tongass.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page