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Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Profile of the U.S. Forest Products Industry Value Chain

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015, 16:48 by Linda S. Heath, Van Maltby, Reid Miner, Kenneth E. Skog, James E. Smith, Jay Unwin, Brad Upton
A greenhouse gas and carbon accounting profile was developed for the U.S. forest products industry value chain for 1990 and 2004−2005 by examining net atmospheric fluxes of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) using a variety of methods and data sources. Major GHG emission sources include direct and indirect (from purchased electricity generation) emissions from manufacturing and methane emissions from landfilled products. Forest carbon stocks in forests supplying wood to the industry were found to be stable or increasing. Increases in the annual amounts of carbon removed from the atmosphere and stored in forest products offset about half of the total value chain emissions. Overall net transfers to the atmosphere totaled 91.8 and 103.5 TgCO2-eq. in 1990 and 2005, respectively, although the difference between these net transfers may not be statistically significant. Net transfers were higher in 2005 primarily because additions to carbon stored in forest products were less in 2005. Over this same period, energy-related manufacturing emissions decreased by almost 9% even though forest products output increased by approximately 15%. Several types of avoided emissions were considered separately and were collectively found to be notable relative to net emissions.