Forests are critical to mitigating the effects of global climate change because they are large storehouses of carbon, but there are significant uncertainties about the actual behavior of many of their sinks and sources, according to arecently published textbook, Managing Forest Carbon in a Changing Climate
The book, written by researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, is a comprehensive review of the science of carbon sequestration in forests, management of forests for carbon mitigation and poverty alleviation, and the socioeconomic and policy implications of managing forests for carbon.
The book is organized in four parts: the science of carbon sequestration in forests; science of measuring carbon in forests; management of forests and forest products for carbon storage; and socioeconomic, business and policy aspects of managing forests for carbon.
Today emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry are estimated at 17 percent of annual, global carbon dioxide emissions, which exceeds the amount of emissions from transportation.
“All the regional nuances, variations and impacts related to land use in many biomes are largely unknown,” said Mark Ashton, a co-author of the book and the Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology.
Mary Tyrrell, executive director of the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry and co-author, said that the few studies on carbon in deep soils are restricted to the developed world. “Deforestation in tropical areas, where the soils are more fragile, may release a lot of carbon.”
The goal of the book, the authors say, is to provide recommendations for graduate students, land managers and policymakers on vital areas that need research and guidelines for forest carbon management and policy.
“By creating a publication that outlines the research that has been done on forest carbon—pointing out what we know and don’t know and the implications for policy decisions—the hope is that land managers and policymakers will have a stronger foundation for making choices,” said Brad Gentry, a co-author and professor in the practice of sustainable investments.
Managing Forest Carbon in a Changing Climate
grew out of a series of seminars that were organized by faulty, students and alumni of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The book is published by Springer and can be read online