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Climatic Change

, Volume 61, Issue 1–2, pp 89–99 | Cite as

Increased Carbon Sink in Temperate and Boreal Forests

  • Jari Liski
  • Alexander V. Korotkov
  • Christopher F. L. Prins
  • Timo Karjalainen
  • David G. Victor
  • Pekka E. Kauppi
Article

Abstract

An intense search is under way to identify the `missing sink' in the world carbon budget of perhaps 2 Pg year−1 (petagrams, or billiontonnes) of carbon, but its location and mechanism have proved elusive. Here we use a new forest inventory data set to estimate the carbon sink and the carbon pool of woody biomass in 55 countries that account for nearly all temperate or boreal forests and approximately half the world's total forest area. In each country there was a net accumulation of biomass; together, the carbon sink of woody biomass was 0.88 Pg year−1 during the 1990swith estimated uncertainty from 0.71 to 1.1 Pg year−1. Thisestimate, already about half of the missing sink, would probably be even larger if carbon accumulation in soil and detritus were also accounted for, but we are unable to quantify that additional sink. The sink is twice that estimated for the woody biomass of these forests a decade ago due to higher estimates for tree growth throughout the region and decreased timber harvests in Russia. In contrast, the new data indicate a carbon pool that is smaller than earlier estimates because of improved data for Russia and Australia.

Keywords

Biomass Timber Detritus Tree Growth Boreal Forest 
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

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jari Liski
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander V. Korotkov
    • 3
  • Christopher F. L. Prins
    • 3
  • Timo Karjalainen
    • 4
  • David G. Victor
    • 5
  • Pekka E. Kauppi
    • 6
  1. 1.European Forest InstituteJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.Department of Forest EcologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Timber SectionUN/ECE Trade Division, Palais des NationsGeneva 10Switzerland
  4. 4.Joensuu Research CentreFinnish Forest Research InstituteJoensuuFinland
  5. 5.Program on Energy and Sustainable DevelopmentStanford UniversityStanfordU.S.A
  6. 6.Department of Limnology and Environmental ProtectionUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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