Land carbon sequestration within the conterminous United States : regional- and state-level analyses
Kicklighter, David W.
Melillo, Jerry M.
Reilly, John M.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordCarbon cycle; Land carbon sinks; Land use and land cover change; Stand age; Fossil fuel emissions; Land use legacies
A quantitative understanding of the rate at which land ecosystems are sequestering or losing carbon at national-, regional-, and state-level scales is needed to develop policies to mitigate climate change. In this study, a new improved historical land use and land cover change data set is developed and combined with a process-based ecosystem model to estimate carbon sources and sinks in land ecosystems of the conterminous United States for the contemporary period of 2001–2005 and over the last three centuries. We estimate that land ecosystems in the conterminous United States sequestered 323 Tg C yr−1 at the beginning of the 21st century with forests accounting for 97% of this sink. This land carbon sink varied substantially across the conterminous United States, with the largest sinks occurring in the Southeast. Land sinks are large enough to completely compensate fossil fuel emissions in Maine and Mississippi, but nationally, carbon sinks compensate for only 20% of U.S. fossil fuel emissions. We find that regions that are currently large carbon sinks (e.g., Southeast) tend to have been large carbon sources over the longer historical period. Both the land use history and fate of harvested products can be important in determining a region's overall impact on the atmospheric carbon budget. While there are numerous options for reducing fossil fuels (e.g., increase efficiency and displacement by renewable resources), new land management opportunities for sequestering carbon need to be explored. Opportunities include reforestation and managing forest age structure. These opportunities will vary from state to state and over time across the United States.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 120 (2015): 379–398, doi:10.1002/2014JG002818.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The marine inorganic carbon system along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of the United States : insights from a transregional coastal carbon study Wang, Zhaohui Aleck; Wanninkhof, Rik; Cai, Wei-Jun; Byrne, Robert H.; Hu, Xinping; Peng, Tsung-Hung; Huang, Wei-Jen (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2013-01)Distributions of total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and other parameters relevant to the marine inorganic carbon system were investigated in shelf and adjacent ocean waters during a U.S. Gulf of Mexico ...
Correction to “Isotopic characterization of aerosol organic carbon components over the eastern United States” Wozniak, Andrew S.; Bauer, James E.; Dickhut, Rebecca M.; Xu, Li; McNichol, Ann P. (American Geophysical Union, 2012-08-02)
The influence of temperature and seawater carbonate saturation state on 13C–18O bond ordering in bivalve mollusks Eagle, R. A.; Eiler, John M.; Tripati, Aradhna K.; Ries, J. B.; Freitas, P. S.; Hiebenthal, C.; Wanamaker, Alan D.; Taviani, Marco; Elliot, M.; Marenssi, S.; Nakamura, K.; Ramirez, P.; Roy, K. (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2013-07-10)The shells of marine mollusks are widely used archives of past climate and ocean chemistry. Whilst the measurement of mollusk δ18O to develop records of past climate change is a commonly used approach, it has proven ...