Are there any workable methods for sequestering carbon?
With the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the obligations contained therein, new demands are made on the forest sector that have not yet been fully resolved. The mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol offer the signatory states the opportunity to compare part of their greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions with sink effects from forestry activities in order to reduce net emissions. For this it is necessary to quantify these sink effects in a comprehensible way. The estimation of the biomass stocks (dry matter) or their change allows a fairly precise statement about the carbon sequestration, since dry biomass consists of ~ 50% carbon.
However, the existing scientific basis for estimating tree and forest biomass does not seem to be able to take into account the increasing economic importance of this estimation due to its high level of uncertainty compared to other sectors.
Furthermore, existing parametric models, which are often derived from small-scale studies, are very inflexible and difficult to transfer. As a result, there is a large number of different models for the well-studied European forests, but little consensus on their use. The approach proposed by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) of estimating national biomass changes with the help of BEFs (Biomass Expansion Factors) from economically used wood stock changes has also met with criticism due to the high inaccuracies.
One of the main concerns of research in this area is therefore to develop more generally applicable and practicable methods of biomass estimation.
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