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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2009

  • Title: A Carbon Budget for Worcester County, Massachusetts
  • Primary Author: Brian Hall (Harvard Forest)
  • Additional Authors: David Foster (Harvard Forest)
  • Abstract:

    While much attention has been given to global and national initiatives to address climate change, regional perspectives will also be effective because they can provide emission reduction and sequestration options more suited to a specific region’s geographic, climatic, economic, and ecologic conditions. We are creating a carbon budget for Worcester County, Massachusetts as part of an effort to characterize regional carbon sources and sinks. We provide a top-down analysis of carbon emissions and focus on how land cover and land cover change may mitigate or exasperate net carbon emissions. The results from this study will be compared with budgets being prepared by other researchers from Tompkins County, NY, Chittendon County, VT, Coos and Grafton Counties, NH, Essex and Middlesex Counties, MA, and Baltimore County, MD. Preliminary results show that Worcester County emits 2.8 million metric tons of carbon each year and the forests take up approximately 19% of those annual emissions. Total forest storage in trees (roots and shoots) and soils is approximately 55 million metric tons of carbon, or the equivalent of 19.5 years worth of emissions.

  • Research Category: Forest-Atmosphere Exchange, Regional Studies