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Incorporating Changes in Albedo in Estimating the Climate Mitigation Benefits of Land Use Change Projects

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dc.contributor.author Bird, D. N.
dc.contributor.author Kunda, M.
dc.contributor.author Mayer, A.
dc.contributor.author Schlamadinger, B.
dc.contributor.author Canella, L.
dc.contributor.author Johnston, M.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-24T20:05:16Z
dc.date.available 2011-01-24T20:05:16Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6876
dc.description.abstract "Some climate scientists are questioning whether the practice of converting of non-forest lands to forest land (afforestation or reforestation) is an effective climate change mitigation option. The discussion focuses particularly on areas where the new forest is primarily coniferous and there is significant amount of snow since the increased climate forcing due to the change in albedo may counteract the decreased climate forcing due to carbon dioxide removal. In this paper, we develop a stand-based model that combines changes in surface albedo, solar radiation, latitude, cloud cover and carbon sequestration. As well, we develop a procedure to convert carbon stock changes to equivalent climatic forcing or climatic forcing to equivalent carbon stock changes. Using the model, we investigate the sensitivity of combined affects of changes in surface albedo and carbon stock changes to model parameters. The model is sensitive to amount of cloud, atmospheric absorption, timing of canopy closure, carbon sequestration rate among other factors. The sensitivity of the model is investigated at one Canadian site, and then the model is tested at numerous sites across Canada. In general, we find that the change in albedo reduces the carbon sequestration benefits by approximately 30% over 100 years, but this is not drastic enough to suggest that one should not use afforestation or reforestation as a climate change mitigation option. This occurs because the forests grow in places where there is significant amount of cloud in winter. As well, variations in sequestration rate seem to be counterbalanced by the amount and timing of canopy closure. We close by speculating that the effects of albedo may also be significant in locations at lower latitudes, where there are less clouds, and where there are extended dry seasons. These conditions make grasses light coloured and when irrigated crops, dark forests or other vegetation such as biofuels replace the grasses, the change in carbon stocks may not compensate for the darkening of the surface." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject climate change en_US
dc.subject carbon sequestration en_US
dc.subject afforestation en_US
dc.subject land tenure and use en_US
dc.title Incorporating Changes in Albedo in Estimating the Climate Mitigation Benefits of Land Use Change Projects en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.coverage.region North America en_US
dc.coverage.country Canada en_US
dc.subject.sector Forestry en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Biogeosciences Discussions en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 2 en_US
dc.identifier.citationpages 1511-1543 en_US

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