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Increasing forest carbon sequestration through cooperation and shared strategies between China and the United States

Authors: 
Shao, G, L Dai, JS Dukes, RB Jackson, L Tang, J Zhao
Year: 
2011
Journal: 
Environmental Science and Technology, in press
Journal Volume/Pages: 
45: 2033–2034

China and the United States are the world’s top CO2 emitters. Both countries also harbor extensive forests that offset a substantial fraction of their CO2 emissions and have the potential to offset considerably more. U.S. forests sequestered 236 Tg C yr-1 from 2000 to 2005, balancing 12-19% of the country’s CO2 emissions. China’s forests took up 96 Tg C yr-1 from 1994 to 2003, equivalent to 8.5%of China’s CO2 emissions in 2003. These rates of CO2 sequestration were contributed by each nation’s forestry programs but have not reached their full potential. To date, the two countries have taken contrasting approaches to forest management.We propose that each country could increase carbon sequestration dramatically by adopting the most successful aspects of the other country’s program.

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