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Forestry as a natural climate solution: The positive outcomes of negative carbon emissionsAuthor(s): Andrea Watts; David D'Amore; A. David. McGuire
Source: Science Findings 225. 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 (3.0 MB)
DescriptionForests are considered a natural solution for mitigating climate change because they absorb and store atmospheric carbon. With Alaska boasting 129 million acres of forest, this state can play a crucial role as a carbon sink for the United States. Until recently, the volume of carbon stored in Alaska’s forests was unknown, as was their future carbon sequestration capacity.
In 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act that directed the Department of the Interior to assess the stock and flow of carbon in all the lands and waters of the United States. In 2012, a team composed of researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, and the University of Alaska assessed how much carbon Alaska’s forests can sequester.
The researchers concluded that ecosystems of Alaska could be a substantial carbon sink. Carbon sequestration is estimated at 22.5 to 70.0 teragrams (Tg) of carbon per year over the remainder of this century. In particular, Alaska’s dense coastal temperate forests and soils are estimated to sequester 3.4 to 7.8 Tg of carbon per year. Forest management activities were found to have long-term effects on the maximum amount of carbon a site can sequester. These findings helped inform the carbon assessment sections of Chugach and Tongass National Forests’ land management plans.
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CitationWatts, Andrea; D'Amore, David; McGuire, A. David. 2020. Forestry as a natural climate solution: The positive outcomes of negative carbon emissions. Science Findings 225. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
KeywordsCarbon, sequestration, forest management, thinning, young growth, Tongass.
- Carbon sequestration in the U.S. forest sector from 1990 to 2010
- Carbon stocks on forestland of the United States, with emphaisis on USDA Forest Service ownership
- Planting trees to mitigate climate change: Policy incentives could lead to increased carbon sequestration
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