The net carbon drawdown of small scale afforestation from satellite observations
Global and Planetary Change
Climate models indicate that warming due to increase in shortwave absorption from the lowering of albedo caused by afforestation reduces and can even overcome, particularly at high latitudes, the cooling caused by the carbon drawdown. We use high resolution (0.05 × 0.05° to 1 × 1°) global satellite observations to investigate the effects of afforestation. Results are markedly different from the coarser (~ 2.5 × ~ 2.5°) model-based studies. Between 40°S and 60°N afforestation always results in cooling. Many of the areas with the highest net carbon drawdown (drawdown after albedo effects) are at high latitudes. There is large zonal variability in drawdown and latitude is not a good indicator of afforestation efficiency. The overall efficiency of afforestation, defined as the net carbon drawdown divided by the total drawdown, is about 50%. By only considering the total drawdown and not considering albedo effects, the Kyoto Protocol carbon accounting rules grossly overestimate the cooling caused by afforestation drawdown.
afforestation, climate mitigation, surface energy balance
© 2009 Elsevier
Alvaro Montenegro, Michael Eby, Qiaozhen Mu, Mark Mulligan, Andrew J. Weaver, Edward C. Wiebe, Maosheng Zhao, The net carbon drawdown of small scale afforestation from satellite observations, Global and Planetary Change, Volume 69, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 195-204, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.08.005