Download the Tree Carbon Calculator from the Climate Change Resource Center.
Forest sequestration controvery: old-growth vs. young-growth forests as viable carbon offsets.
This web site was created for a college class in 2010 and has not been
updated, but it includes a great deal of basic information on carbon
sequestration and a long list of references.
Does wood bioenergy increase carbon stocks in forests?
Roger Sedjo and Xiaohui Tian. Journal of Forestry 110(6):304-311. 2012.
Wood bioenergy is touted as carbon neutral because
biological regrowth recaptures the carbon released in energy
production. However, some argue that using wood as an energy
feedstock will result in decreased forest stocks and thereby a net
reduction of carbon sequestered by forests.
May 15, 2012, presentations in the Denman Forestry Issues Series,
sponsored by the University of Washington School of Environmental and
Forest Sciences were titled "Role of Forests and Forest Products in Carbon Mitigation and Energy Independence."
Three sessions are available for viewing at the UWTV website. Each is approximately 1 hour long.
Session 1: Forests, Forest Products and the Carbon Cycle
Can we have our Forest Carbon and use it too? Tom Gower
The two way flow of wood carbon versus the one-way flow of fossil emissions. Elaine Oneil
Is the credibility of the carbon sector at risk? Mark Harmon
Session 2: Carbon Mitigation and Energy Independence
Sustainable production of biofuels. Rick Gustafson
The ever-evolving case for a carbon tax. Shi-Ling Hsu
Zero carbon buildings? Opportunities and challenges. Kate Simonen
Session 3: Successful Examples and Concerns Relative to Forest Carbon and Energy in the Pacific Northwest.
Pursuing carbon and forest sustainability in forest biomass energy production. Craig Partridge
The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative: the role of forests in climate stabilization. Patrick Mazza
Northwest tribe's issues and challenges with biomass energy development. Steve Rigdon
Plum Creek: Vested in carbon. Mike Jostrom
Reducing carbon emissions in the real world. Edie Sonne Hall
Factors affecting the attitudes of nonindustrial private forest landowners regarding carbon sequestration and trading.
Derek W. Thompson and Eric N. Hansen.
Journal of Forestry 110(3):129-137. 2012.
a nationwide survey of forest landowners, only 37% of respondents held
positive attitudes regarding the management of their forestland for
carbon sequestration and trading.
Where did the US forest biomass/carbon go?
C.W. Woodall. Journal of Forestry 110(2):113-114. 2012.
This year's estimate of aboveground live tree carbon
stocks within managed forests of the U.S. dropped by 14%, but it is
because of the USDA's continuous effort to increase the accuracy of the
inventory by the method used, not by actually changes.
Potential overestimation of carbon sequestration in the forested wildland-urban interface in northern New England.
D. Zheng, L.S. Heath, and M.J. Ducey
Journal of Forestry 110(2):105-111. 2012
Housing developments in the forested wildland-urban
interface can potentially reduce the carbon sequestration by at least
4% in New England and is expected to increase to 40% by 2030 based on
predicted future increases in housing density.
Regional impacts of a program for private forest carbon offset sales.
Darius M. Adams, Ralph Alig, Greg Latta, and Eric M. White.
Journal of Forestry 109(8):444-453. 2011.
Their analysis of alternative carbon price levels suggests that the
largest carbon increment response would come from changes in forest
management: extending rotations, shifting silvicultural regimes, and
reforestation to hardwood forest types. Carbon payments could also
stimulate a substantial afforestation response in eastern regions.
Forest carbon offsets: possibilities and limitations. Roger Sedjo and Molly Macauley.
A critique of "Forest carbon offsets: possibilities and limitations. Mark E. Harmon and Olga N. Krankina.
Reponse: Measurement, monitoring, and verification: make it work! Coeli M. Hoover
Journal of Forestry 109(8):470-476. 2011.
This group of 3 articles discusses the challenges of measuring and monitoring carbon sequestration
Managing forests because carbon matters: Integrating energy, products, and land management policy.
Robert W. Malmsheimer et al.
Journal of Forestry 109(7 Suppl):S7-S50. 2011.
and assesses the most recent science regarding forests and carbon
accounting, biomass use, and forest carbon offsets. It was compiled by
the Society of American Foresters' Task Force on Forest Climate Change
Offsets and Use of Forest Biomass for Energy.
Subsurface carbon contents: some case studies in forest soils.
Dale W. Johnson, James D. Murphy, Benjamin M. Rau, and Watkins W. Miller
Forest Science 57(1):3-10. 2011.
Evaluates the importance of deeper soil horizons for soil C inventories in forest ecosystems.
The economic value of selling carbon credits from restored forests: a case study from the Navajo Nation's tribal forests.
Ching-Hsun Huang and Christopher Sorensen
Western Journal of Applied Forestry 26(1):37-45. 2011.
goals of this study were to promote restoration of forest ecosystems
through fire hazard reduction treatments and to evaluate potential
economic benefits of carbon credits to the Navajo Nation.
Urban forests and carbon markets: buyers' perspectives.
Neelam C. Poudyal, Jacek Siry, and J.M. Bowker.
Journal of Forestry 109(7):378-385. 2011.
study surveyed carbon credit buyers participating in the Chicago
Climate Exchange to assess their preferences for credits from various
Carbon offsets keep forests profitable.
Capital Press, October 7, 2011.
Carbon, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Oregon Small Woodlands
Association, provides private forest owners in Oregon access to the
carbon offset market.
Life cycle impacts of forest management and wood utilization on carbon mitigation: knowns and unknowns.
Bruce Lippke, Elaine Oneil, Rob Harrison, Kenneth Skog, Leif Gustavsson & Roger Sathre.
Carbon Management 2(3):303-333. 2011.
review on research on life cycle carbon accounting examines the
complexities in accounting for carbon emissions given the many
different ways that wood is used.
American Carbon Registry
As the first private voluntary GHG registry in the U.S., ACR has set the
bar for transparency and integrity that is the market standard today
and continues to lead carbon market innovation.
Managed forest carbon estimates for the US greenhouse gas inventory, 1990-2008. By Linda S. Heath et al. Journal of Forestry, April/May 2011.
the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Forests and forest
products sequestered more than 790 million metric tn of CO2 equivalent
in 2008 on 253 million ha of forestland. Both area and carbon
density of these forestlands have increased since 1990.
Currently, 89% of net annual sequestration is in the forest
ecosystem, and the balance is net carbon addition to harvested wood
Carbon credit market forms
Capital Press, March 25, 2011
the U.S. has not joined the Kyoto Protocol, there is no national market
for carbon credits in America. However, in December 2010, the
California Air Resources Board enacted carbon standards, and now the Climate Action Registry
has led to the creation of a carbon market focused on that state.
In essence, the Climate Action Registry links companies that need
carbon credits with forest owners who are the custodians of carbon.
2010 Carbon market ups and downs
Matt Smith, The Forestry Source, February 2011
and Republicans alike have climate change legislation on their short
list of agenda items, albeit for entirely different reasons.
In July of 2010 Chicago Climate Exchange, together with its global affiliates, was acquired by IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE) bringing together leading global energy and environmental markets.
Carbon Management Guidance
Supplement: A new tool is available to help landowners plan to
manage for increased carbon storage. The Management Guidance Supplement for Carbon Sequestration will help foresters
and landowners in the planning process for managing for increased carbon storage
on their land.
U.S. forests and carbon: some important facts. USDA Forest Service, Forest Carbon Briefing Paper. October 12, 2010.
New data highlights role of forests in fight against climate change.
USDA News Release No. 0532.10. October 15, 2010.
Carbon storage in U.S. Forests, by state,
sub-region, and ownership group. Data published by USDA Forest Service
as of October 5, 2010.
Recognition of carbon storage in harvested wood products: a post-Copenhagen update.
Dr. Jim Bowyer, Dr. Steve Bratkovich, Dr. Jeff Howe, Kathryn Fernholz. February 25, 2010, Dovetail Partners, Inc.
to recognize carbon storage in wood products within international
protocols have been ongoing for over 13 years. Despite these
actions there is still no agreement on language regarding Harvested
Wood Products (HWP) and this continued uncertainty is hindering the
possibilities for wood to be a more significant part of a carbon
A synthesis of the science on forests and
carbon for U.S. Forests. by M.G. Ryan, M.E. Harmon, R.A. Birdsey, C.P.
Giardina et al. Issues in Ecology, Report No. 13. Spring 2010
the cycle of forest growth, death, and regeneration and forest carbon
pools and flows. Examines the science behind the mechanisms proposed
for increasing the amount of carbon stored in forests and using wood to
offset fossil fuel use. Examines tradeoffs, costs, and benefits
associated with each mechanism and explains how forest carbon is
Carbon neutrality of energy from forest biomass. Published by National Alliance of Forest Owners. 2010.
carbon neutrality of forest biomass used to produce electricity is a
long-established convention in greenhouse gas accounting. However
some are questioning this presumption.
We're all in this together: decisionmaking to address climate change in a complex world.
Ralph Alig. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research
Station, Science Findings Issue 116, September 2009.
Research at the PNW Station
has shown that there is substantial room for increased carbon storage
on public and private forest land. Because climate change is such
a far-reaching topic, policy alternatives must be evaluated in terms of
land-use changes, forest management strategies, and connections to
other sectors of the economy.
Measurement guidelines for the sequestration of forest carbon.
T.R.H. Pearson, S.L. Brown, R.A. Birdsey. USDA Forest
Service, Northern Research Station, General Technical Report NRS-18.
2007. 42 p.
Provides guidance on defining boundaries; measuring,
monitoring, and estimating changes in carbon stocks; implementing plans
to measure and monitor carbon; and developing quality assurance and
quality control plans to ensure credible and reproducible estimates of
the carbon credits.
CVal: A Spreadsheet Tool to Evaluate the Direct Benefits and Costs fo Carbon Sequestration Contracts for Managed Forests.
USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report FPL-GTR-180. 2009.
free Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is fairly complex and intimidating,
but the 30 page user guide that you can download will thoroughly
explain the data, terms, and formulas in the worksheet. CVal has been
specifically written to make the carbon offset market feasible for
family forest landowners.
Maximizing forest contributions to carbon mitigation: the science of life cycle analysis
CORRIM Fact Sheet 5. March 2009.
Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) has
developed a database that makes it possible to track carbon from the
forest to post harvest uses, following the carbon from one pool to the
next, measuring the interaction between them. Carbon tracking
charts display the impacts on all carbon pools making it possible to
understand the impact of management and policies on the total carbon
across all pools.
Forest Management Solutions to Mitigate Climate Change.
A presentation by John Helms, Robert Malmsheimer and Michael
Goergen. 2009. SAF Climate Change and Sequestration Task Force.
Updated: March 8, 2013