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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Carbon sequestration
  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)



Integrating terrestrial sequestration into a greenhouse gas management plan

J. R. Brown and N. Sampson

Terrestrial sequestration has the potential to contribute to national and global greenhouse gas management strategies. However, spatial and temporal variability in sequestration potential and in the implementation of sequestering technologies introduces serious questions about how to resolve uncertainties and raise the credibility of terrestrial sequestration. Carbon flux in terrestrial ecosystems without land use change generally is less than one ton CO2e/ha and driven primarily by precipitation. Land use and management changes are relatively common and are driven by economics and social considerations both in the private and public sectors. Implementing a credible greenhouse gas management program that integrates terrestrial sequestration along with other sources and sinks requires a systematic approach to identify and quantitatively monitor changes in the drivers of terrestrial sequestration. A credible terrestrial sequestration monitoring program will require close attention to integrating direct measurement of soils and vegetation, statistically valid scaling, remote sensing, and computer modeling. Predicting changes at a level of confidence useful to policy development will also require an understanding of how land owners and managers respond to private sector price signals and government conservation initiatives.

Citation: Brown, J. R., and N. Sampson (2009), Integrating terrestrial sequestration into a greenhouse gas management plan, in Carbon Sequestration and Its Role in the Global Carbon Cycle, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 183, edited by B. J. McPherson and E. T. Sundquist, pp. 317–324, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2006GM000354.

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