Climatic Change

, Volume 103, Issue 1–2, pp 137–157 | Cite as

Can the uncertainty of full carbon accounting of forest ecosystems be made acceptable to policymakers?

  • Anatoly Shvidenko
  • Dmitry Schepaschenko
  • Ian McCallum
  • Sten Nilsson


In accordance with the concept that only full accounting of major greenhouse gases corresponds to the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, this paper considers uncertainties of regional (national) terrestrial biota Full Carbon Accounting (FCA), both those already achieved and those expected. We analyze uncertainties of major components of the FCA of forest ecosystems of a large boreal region in Siberia (~300 × 106 ha). Some estimates for forests of other regions and Russia as a whole are used for comparison. The systems integration of available information sources and different types of models within the landscape-ecosystem approach are shown to have enabled an estimation of the major carbon fluxes (Net Primary Production, NPP, and heterotrophic respiration, HR) for the region for a single year at the level of 7–12% (confidential interval, CI, 0.9), Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) of 35–40%, and Net Biome Production (NBP) of 60–80%. The most uncertain aspect is the assessment of change in the soil carbon pool, which limits practical application of a pool-based approach. Regionalization of global process-based models, introduction of climatic data in empirical models, use of an appropriate time period for accounting and reporting, harmonization and multiple constraints of estimates obtained by different independent methods decrease the above uncertainties of NEP and NBP by about half. The results of this study support the idea that FCA of forest ecosystems is relevant in the post-Kyoto international negotiation process.


Forest Inventory Coarse Woody Debris Glob Chang Biol Live Biomass Forest Inventory Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatoly Shvidenko
    • 1
  • Dmitry Schepaschenko
    • 1
  • Ian McCallum
    • 1
  • Sten Nilsson
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria

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