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Back to:Carbon Budget Introduction

Go to: Carbon Budget Stated

Go to:What is a carbon budget?

Go to:How much carbon is stored in U.S. forests?

Go to:What is the current carbon flux of forests in the U.S.?

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Go to:What is the outlook for carbon sequestration in U.S. forests in the future?

Viewing:How much carbon could be sequestered if more trees were planted?

Go to:How much carbon could be sequestered if higher rates of recycling was encouraged?

Go to:Are publicly owned forests in the U.S. sequestering carbon?

 
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CARBON BUDGET OF UNITED STATES FORESTS

Q: How much carbon could be sequestered if more trees were planted?

A: The amount of carbon sequestered is a function of the area on which forest landowners could be convinced to plant trees. Incentives include Federal cost-shares, forest management assistance programs, and tax credits, and generally are targeted at land which is marginal for agriculture. We projected carbon sequestered under a scenarios which require a $110 million/year investment for ten years. We adopted area estimates from a study by Moulton and Richards (1990). They estimated how much area would be planted in forests if $110 million/year were invested for ten years to provide incentives for private landowners to plant trees. Funding was assumed to be distributed across regions in a way to maximize carbon sequestration. About an additional 2 MMT/yr. of C (Birdsey and Heath, 1995) could be sequestered above the base scenarios over a fifty year period. For more information about the scenario, see Haynes and others (1995).

Comparison of carbon storage and flux for current base run and reforestation scenarios, all ecosystem components, private timberland in the conterminous U.S., 1990-2040.
Year/Period

Base Run

Planting M/R

Storage:

---million metric tons---

1990
2000
2010
2020
2030
2040

21,621
22,394
22,964
23,271
23,401
23,390

21,621
22,356
22,913
23,306
23,468
23,492

Flux:

---million metric tons per year---

1990-2000
2000-2010
2010-2020
2020-2030
2030-2040

77
57
31
13
(1)

74
56
39
16
2


SOURCE: Birdsey, R. A., and L. S. Heath. 1995. Carbon changes in U.S. forests. IN: Joyce, L. A., ed. Productivity of America's forests and climate change. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-271, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Ft. Collins, CO. 70 p.

References:
Moulton, R. J., and K. R. Richards. 1990. Costs of sequestering carbon through tree planting and forest management in the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service General Technical Report WO-58, Washington, DC. 47 p.

Haynes, R. W., D. M. Adams, and J. R. Mills. 1995. The 1993 RPA timber assessment update. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-259, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Ft. Collins, CO. 66 p.