A Distributed Approach to Accounting for Carbon in Wood Product

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gregg Marland Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty (Creator)
Eric Marland Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: With an evolving political environment of commitments to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, and of markets to trade in emissions permits, there is growing scientific, political, and economic need to accurately evaluate carbon (C) stocks and flows—especially those related to human activities. One component of the global carbon cycle that has been contentious is the stock of carbon that is physically held in harvested wood products. The carbon stored in wood products has been sometimes overlooked, but the amount of carbon contained in wood products is not trivial, it is increasing with time, and it is significant to some Parties. This paper is concerned with accurate treatment of harvested wood products in inventories of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. The methodologies outlined demonstrate a flexible way to expand current methods beyond the assumption of a simple, first-order decay to include the use of more accurate and detailed data while retaining the simplicity of simple formulas. The paper demonstrates that a more accurate representation of decay time can have significant economic implications in a system where emissions are taxed or emissions permits are traded. The method can be easily applied using only data on annual production of wood products and two parameters to characterize their expected lifetime. These methods are not specific to wood products but can be applied to long-lived, carbon-containing products from sources other than wood, e.g. long-lived petrochemical products. A single unifying approach that is both simple and flexible has the potential to be both more accurate in its results, more efficient in its implementation, and economically important to some Parties.

Additional Information

Gregg Marland, Eric Marland & Kirk Stellar (2010) " A Distributed Approach to Accounting to Carbon in Wood Products" Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change Volume 15 issue 1 pp. 71-91 Version of Record Available From (www.springer.com)
Language: English
Date: 2010
carbon in wood products, carbon sequestration, carbon accounting

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