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A Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Balance for a Forest Company Operating in Northeast North America

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Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon stock changes projected over 100 years were quantified for a company managing 2.2 Mha of forest in northeast North America. From 2010 to 2015, company forest operations, sawmills, and pulp/paper mills were forecast to contribute 21, 4, and 75%, respectively, of total emissions. Forest and products were forecast to result in an increasing cumulative net GHG (sequestration minus emissions) sink to 30.7 t CO2e ha−1 at year 50, but as harvest levels increased, emissions exceeded sequestration by year 85, reaching a GHG source of 6.4 t CO2e ha−1 by year 100. After 100 years, the ratio of forest product storage to all emission pools was 0.58, 0.84 if grid electricity was hydrogenerated, or 2.7 if pulpwood was redirected for bioenergy. Determining the GHG mitigation potential of forest products requires inclusion of wood, paper, bioenergy, and manufacturing emissions and consideration of natural disturbances, leakage, and avoided emissions.

Keywords: carbon; forest management; greenhouse gas; life cycle; product substitution; pulp and paper; wood products

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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