Article

Climatic Change

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 291-319

First online:

Carbon Budget of the Indian Forest Ecosystem

  • G. S. HaripriyaAffiliated withThe Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Beijer Institute Email author 

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Abstract

The paper quantifies the role of Indian forests as source or sink of carbon. The model used in the study takes into account the growing stock, additional tree organs, dead biomass, litter layer and soil organic matter, harvesting and harvesting losses, effects of pests, fire etc., allocation of timber to wood products, life span of products including recycling and allocation to landfills. The net carbon balance calculated as the net source or sink of the forest sector was assessed for the year 1993–94. The study isimportant in view of the obligation placed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the signatory nations to provide a periodic update of carbon budget in the atmosphere. For the available data and the underlying assumptions, the results of the carbon budget model indicated that the Indian forest sector acted as a source of 12.8 TgC (including accumulation of carbon in the dead biomass) for the year 1994. The results obtained reinforced the notion that an integrated approach is required in order to evaluate the forest sector's influence on the global atmospheric carbon levels. The model used in this study has the advantage that all the factors determining the carbon budget can be integrated and altered to determine their influence. The study also throws light on the issues that stand in the way of preparing through carbon budget for developing countries like India.