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Accounting for risk in valuing forest carbon offsets.

Hurteau MD, Hungate BA, Koch GW - Carbon Balance Manag (2009)

Bottom Line: Forests can sequester carbon dioxide, thereby reducing atmospheric concentrations and slowing global warming.Here we show that incorporating wildfire risk reduces the value of forest carbon depending on the location and condition of the forest.There is a general trend of decreasing risk-scaled forest carbon value moving from the northern toward the southern continental U.S. Because disturbance is a major ecological factor influencing long-term carbon storage and is often sensitive to human management, carbon trading mechanisms should account for the reduction in value associated with disturbance risk.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences and Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, PO Box 6077, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. Matthew.Hurteau@nau.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Forests can sequester carbon dioxide, thereby reducing atmospheric concentrations and slowing global warming. In the U.S., forest carbon stocks have increased as a result of regrowth following land abandonment and in-growth due to fire suppression, and they currently sequester approximately 10% of annual US emissions. This ecosystem service is recognized in greenhouse gas protocols and cap-and-trade mechanisms, yet forest carbon is valued equally regardless of forest type, an approach that fails to account for risk of carbon loss from disturbance.

Results: Here we show that incorporating wildfire risk reduces the value of forest carbon depending on the location and condition of the forest. There is a general trend of decreasing risk-scaled forest carbon value moving from the northern toward the southern continental U.S.

Conclusion: Because disturbance is a major ecological factor influencing long-term carbon storage and is often sensitive to human management, carbon trading mechanisms should account for the reduction in value associated with disturbance risk.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Continental U.S. risk-scaled carbon value map. Map of the continental U.S. showing average relative carbon value, , by forest type. Multiplying the average relative carbon value on the map by the market value of carbon determines the risk scaled value of the forest carbon for a given forest type. For example, a value of 0.4 equates to a risk scaled value equal to 40% of the market value.
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Figure 1: Continental U.S. risk-scaled carbon value map. Map of the continental U.S. showing average relative carbon value, , by forest type. Multiplying the average relative carbon value on the map by the market value of carbon determines the risk scaled value of the forest carbon for a given forest type. For example, a value of 0.4 equates to a risk scaled value equal to 40% of the market value.

Mentions: Using a permanence value of 100 years results in risk-scaled values ranging from 100% of market value (M ≥ P) to 1% of market value (M = 1, F = 1). In the continental U.S., discounted market values vary by forest type and tend to decrease on a north to south gradient (Figure 1). Using the available 30 m resolution LANDFIRE data products, the risk of carbon loss resulting from wildfire can be estimated for specific locations allowing for site-specific, risk-incorporated market valuation.


Accounting for risk in valuing forest carbon offsets.

Hurteau MD, Hungate BA, Koch GW - Carbon Balance Manag (2009)

Continental U.S. risk-scaled carbon value map. Map of the continental U.S. showing average relative carbon value, , by forest type. Multiplying the average relative carbon value on the map by the market value of carbon determines the risk scaled value of the forest carbon for a given forest type. For example, a value of 0.4 equates to a risk scaled value equal to 40% of the market value.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2651132&req=5

Figure 1: Continental U.S. risk-scaled carbon value map. Map of the continental U.S. showing average relative carbon value, , by forest type. Multiplying the average relative carbon value on the map by the market value of carbon determines the risk scaled value of the forest carbon for a given forest type. For example, a value of 0.4 equates to a risk scaled value equal to 40% of the market value.
Mentions: Using a permanence value of 100 years results in risk-scaled values ranging from 100% of market value (M ≥ P) to 1% of market value (M = 1, F = 1). In the continental U.S., discounted market values vary by forest type and tend to decrease on a north to south gradient (Figure 1). Using the available 30 m resolution LANDFIRE data products, the risk of carbon loss resulting from wildfire can be estimated for specific locations allowing for site-specific, risk-incorporated market valuation.

Bottom Line: Forests can sequester carbon dioxide, thereby reducing atmospheric concentrations and slowing global warming.Here we show that incorporating wildfire risk reduces the value of forest carbon depending on the location and condition of the forest.There is a general trend of decreasing risk-scaled forest carbon value moving from the northern toward the southern continental U.S. Because disturbance is a major ecological factor influencing long-term carbon storage and is often sensitive to human management, carbon trading mechanisms should account for the reduction in value associated with disturbance risk.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences and Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, PO Box 6077, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. Matthew.Hurteau@nau.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Forests can sequester carbon dioxide, thereby reducing atmospheric concentrations and slowing global warming. In the U.S., forest carbon stocks have increased as a result of regrowth following land abandonment and in-growth due to fire suppression, and they currently sequester approximately 10% of annual US emissions. This ecosystem service is recognized in greenhouse gas protocols and cap-and-trade mechanisms, yet forest carbon is valued equally regardless of forest type, an approach that fails to account for risk of carbon loss from disturbance.

Results: Here we show that incorporating wildfire risk reduces the value of forest carbon depending on the location and condition of the forest. There is a general trend of decreasing risk-scaled forest carbon value moving from the northern toward the southern continental U.S.

Conclusion: Because disturbance is a major ecological factor influencing long-term carbon storage and is often sensitive to human management, carbon trading mechanisms should account for the reduction in value associated with disturbance risk.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus