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Saving American Forests May Help Control Climate Warming

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America has over 800 million acres of forests and forests, Most of the land is privately owned.. Economic incentives for landowners to maintain land in productive forests could be a valuable policy tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research.


The findings are derived from an analysis of the potential roles of forestry and agriculture in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Researchers have modeled greenhouse gas emissions from two sectors under five different socio-economic scenarios, including high economic miracle and fossil fuel dependence scenarios, and sustainability-focused scenarios. .. Researchers also said, “Carbon price“Encourage landowners and farmers to store or reduce Greenhouse gas emissions..

Researchers Woods Management and planting on previously unforested land accounted for the largest share of overall greenhouse gas mitigation. However, strategies to reduce agricultural emissions, such as storing carbon in crop soil and capturing emissions from livestock systems, played an important role during periods of high economic growth.

Chris Wade, a graduate student in forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University and a research economist at RTI International, said: “Even in a baseline scenario without carbon emission reduction policies, the US forestry sector remains a net sink of carbon until the middle of the century.”

Abstract talks to Wade, co-author Justin Baker, Associate Professor of Forestry, Environmental resources Findings published in the Journal of Forest Economics at North Carolina State University:

TA: What role did forestry play in carbon sequestration?

Wade: One of the big surprises from this study is the high demand scenario with high GDP and population growth and increased reliance on fossil fuels. Forest industry And the foundation of the land, leading to more Carbon sequestration From the forestry sector. Forest landowners today were investing in 20 to 30 years as demand wood products grew to have a larger timber base that could be withdrawn to meet that demand. It leads to large-scale sequestration and storage of carbon within the bases of US forest areas.

In a low-demand growth scenario, the demand for forest products has grown very little over time, so the incentive to invest in the forestry sector is low. In that scenario, private forest area is the smallest and land use is projected to shift to more production of crops and livestock. Not only are forest stocks declining, but emissions from livestock production are also increasing. However, adding policy incentives (basically government payments to landowners to keep land in forests to store carbon or reduce emissions from agricultural production) will result in slower growth. There is a great reaction to forestry under economic scenarios. When introducing policies that encourage landowners to keep their land in the forest, there are low-value lands that can be converted or stay in the forestry industry.

This means that if you are looking to make future policy decisions, or if your economy is growing, the best way to improve carbon storage may come from promoting long-lived forest products. If you are in a low economic growth scenario, or if you have reason to believe that a recession is coming, the carbon payment approach may give you the best results.

TA: Why is population so large and economic growth promoting carbon sequestration in forests?

Baker: In many cases, we believe that the only way to achieve or increase carbon sequestration from land use systems is to pay people to protect their forests. But here, investing in forest productivity has the advantage of increasing carbon sequestration, if this way of creating incentives to invest in resource infrastructure stimulates long-term market growth. If other policies can achieve that, it may not be necessary to pay directly for carbon sequestration.

Our research suggests that planting trees, that is, planting forests on non-forested lands, plays a major role, but how to manage current forest infrastructure is also very important. understood.Improved Forest management, Rotation considerations, and changes in regional harvest patterns have actually proved useful in the context of national policy or the private carbon offset market.

TA: What was the key strategy you saw to reduce emissions in agriculture?

Wade: The biggest opportunity really lies in the livestock sector. Therefore, there are fertilizer management activities such as using methane digesters to reduce methane, which has a high global warming potential.

TA: What was the impact of carbon prices?

Wade: In scenarios with policies that encourage carbon sequestration, we find that more carbon can be reduced and stored than is emitted by the land-use sector of forestry and agriculture. Without some action or incentive to reduce emissions, it is not enough to meet climate goals.

TA: What is the potential for these two sectors to reduce total US carbon emissions?

Wade: We focused on agriculture and forestry — we didn’t focus on transportation and energy production. They are the two best emitters nationwide. If you start adding to other sectors, you may lose the small benefits you get.But under carbon incentives, the United States forestry And the agricultural sector could be a net quarantine carbon..


Continued covered forestry maintains carbon sinks in nutrient-rich, drained peat forests


For more information:
Christopher M. Wade et al, Forecasting the Impact of Socio-Economic and Policy Factors on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Sequestration in US Forestry and Agriculture, Forest Economics Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1561 / 112.00000545

Quote: Saving American Forests is a climate warming obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-america-forests-curb-climate.html on September 15, 2021 (9 2021). May 15th) May Help Suppress

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Saving American Forests May Help Control Climate Warming

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