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The global and forest environment carbon cycle

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The global carbon cycle.
  3. The forest carbon cycle.
    1. The difference between GPP and autotrophic respiration.
    2. The biomass pools in a forest.
    3. The ?gures for global NPP, NBP, and RH.
    4. Increasing indications - carbon stocks in the world's forests may be increasing.
  4. Global Increases in CO2.
    1. The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide methane and nitrous oxide.
    2. The rate of change in CO2 concentrations.
    3. The period between 1980-2000 75% of the CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
  5. Forests and the 'Greenhouse Effect'.
  6. Trees to mitigate CO2 increases.
  7. Conclusion.

The forest environment carbon cycle can be viewed at a number of scales. Measurements can be made at the scale of an individual leaf or tree, stand-scale measurements can be made, and models can be developed that examine forest-level, regional, and global carbon cycles. The role of the forest in the global carbon cycle has become increasingly important as it is realized that forests and forestry have a role to play in mitigating the so-called greenhouse effect. This article examines the sources, sinks, and ?uxes of carbon as they relate to forests and then places this information within the context of global change. Finally, the potential contribution of forests to the mitigation of climate change is assessed. The main components of the natural global carbon cycle are the sources, sinks, and ?uxes between the land, oceans, atmosphere, and geological reservoirs. Current estimates suggest that the atmosphere contains about 730 PgC, the land 2000 PgC, the oceans 38 000 PgC, and that an unknown amount remains in geological reservoirs. The greatest natural ?ux (120 PgC per year) is between the land and the atmosphere, with a smaller ?ux occurring between the atmosphere and the oceans (90 PgC per year).

[...] Trees are seen as a potential means to sequester carbon. This is based on the idea that a one-time bene?t can be obtained by planting forests in areas where forests have previously been lost. Tree plantations in the boreal, temperate, and tropical zones are thought to have sequestered about 11.8 GtC. The IPCC has estimated that slowing the rate of deforestation combined with the promotion of natural forest regeneration and afforestation could increase terrestrial carbon stocks in the period 1995? 2050 by between 60 and 87 PgC. [...]

[...] For example, emissions of carbon associated with forest ?res in Russia are very uncertain, with information on both the extent and severity of forest ?res in Siberia being very unreliable. Despite these dif?culties, there are increasing numbers of indications that carbon stocks in the world's forests may be increasing. In the tropics, data from permanent sample plots indicate that tree growth is increasing, although the ?ux is more than balanced by losses caused by deforestation. In temperate and boreal forests, an increasing forest area has been accompanied by increasing carbon stocks in existing forests. [...]

[...] Data collected by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization between 1990 and 2000 suggest that about 15million hectares of natural forest are lost annually, although the data are very unreliable. This is in part compensated by a natural expansion of forest by 1million hectares annually, and establishment of about 2million hectares of forest plantations annually in the tropics. The greatest losses of the total) occur in Latin America, with the proportions in Africa and Asia amounting to 31% and respectively. [...]

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