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    ABSTRACT

New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2008) 53(3): 45–47
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Opinion
Albedo credits or carbon credits?

David B. South 1 and David N. Laband 2

1 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA
2 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA

A recent IPCC report, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report - Summary for Policymakers (2007a), presents some interesting and counter-intuitive data. The word “forestry” was mentioned eight times, “forests” four times, “deforestation” five times and “afforestation” occurred once. The synthesis report went on to say that of the anthropogenic greenhouse gasses (not including water vapor produced by burning fossil fuels), “forestry” accounts for 17.4 percent of the 49 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt- CO2/y) equivalent gas emitted in 2004. This is greater than agriculture (13.5 percent), transport (13.1 percent), and residential and commercial buildings (7.9 percent). The “forestry” emissions were due mainly from deforestation (8.5 Gt-CO2/y), and this amount was ranked third behind “energy supply” (12.7 Gt-CO2/y) and “industry” (9.5 Gt- CO2/y). In a supporting report (2007b), the authors estimate that 93 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1750 is due to human activity (see figure WG1- SMP.2). This guess, produced from unverified computer models, would be even higher were it not for the cooling effects associated with deforestation and from the increase in aerosols in the atmosphere.
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