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Selection: Houghton:RA [6 articles] 

Publications by author Houghton:RA.

Global carbon budget 2017

Earth System Science Data Discussions (13 November 2017), pp. 1-79,


Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the "global carbon budget" – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production ...


Natural climate solutions

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (16 October 2017), 201710465,


[Significance] Most nations recently agreed to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C. We examine how much climate mitigation nature can contribute to this goal with a comprehensive analysis of “natural climate solutions” (NCS): 20 conservation, restoration, and/or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. We show that NCS can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize ...


Consistent land- and atmosphere-based U.S. carbon sink estimates

Science, Vol. 292, No. 5525. (2001), pp. 2316-2320,


For the period 1980-89, we estimate a carbon sink in the coterminous United States between 0.30 and 0.58 petagrams of carbon per year (petagrams of carbon = 1015 grams of carbon). The net carbon flux from the atmosphere to the land was higher, 0.37 to 0.71 petagrams of carbon per year, because a net flux of 0.07 to 0.13 petagrams of carbon per year was exported by rivers and commerce and returned to the atmosphere elsewhere. These land-based estimates are larger ...


Forest carbon sinks in the Northern Hemisphere

Ecological Applications, Vol. 12, No. 3. (June 2002), pp. 891-899,[0891:fcsitn];2


There is general agreement that terrestrial systems in the Northern Hemisphere provide a significant sink for atmospheric CO2; however, estimates of the magnitude and distribution of this sink vary greatly. National forest inventories provide strong, measurement-based constraints on the magnitude of net forest carbon uptake. We brought together forest sector C budgets for Canada, the United States, Europe, Russia, and China that were derived from forest inventory information, allometric relationships, and supplementary data sets and models. Together, these suggest that northern ...


Evidence for environmentally enhanced forest growth

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, No. 26. (01 July 2014), pp. 9527-9532,


[Significance] Northern forests have sequestered a substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the past several decades. This large carbon (C) sink usually is considered to be driven by tree regrowth after stand-replacing disturbance and growth enhancement due to environmental changes, but the relative contribution between these two processes remains unclear. In this study, we evaluate the contribution of growth enhancement induced by environmental changes to biomass C sink in Japan’s forests and demonstrate that this growth enhancement accounts ...


Aboveground Forest Biomass and the Global Carbon Balance

Global Change Biology, Vol. 11, No. 6. (1 June 2005), pp. 945-958,


The long-term net flux of carbon between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere has been dominated by two factors: changes in the area of forests and per hectare changes in forest biomass resulting from management and regrowth. While these factors are reasonably well documented in countries of the northern mid-latitudes as a result of systematic forest inventories, they are uncertain in the tropics. Recent estimates of carbon emissions from tropical deforestation have focused on the uncertainty in rates of deforestation. By using ...

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