U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Dr. Bruce McCarl, of Texas A&M University, published an article on the potential for greenhouse gas mitigation in the U.S. agriculture and forestry sectors in the December 21, 2001, issue of Science Magazine
Published: January 09, 2002
Posted: January 23, 2002

Dr. McCarl and coauthor Dr. Uwe Schneider at Iowa State reported on the results of a model developed to estimate the costs of reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon. The analysis indicates that the agriculture and forestry sector could remove about 0.15 Gigatonnes carbon equivalent per year at a price of $50/metric ton carbon. Removing 0.4 Gigatonnes per year, however, would require very high prices ($500/metric ton). For comparison, the Kyoto Protocol would have required U.S. reductions of about 0.6 Gigatonnes per year during the 2008-2012 time period. The analysis assumed current technologies and compared agricultural and forestry options with the price of other mitigation options in the time frame of the next decade. One advantage of McCarl's model is the accounting for competing processes. For example, adding nitrogen fertilizer may increase soil carbon sequestration, but it could also increase the gross emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, as well as carbon dioxide due to manufacture and application of the fertilizer. The research was supported by the Integrated Assessment research program, the DOE Center for Research on Enhancing Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems (CSiTE), and other funding sources.

Contact: John Houghton, SC-74, 3-8288
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Multisector Dynamics (formerly Integrated Assessment)

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-74 Environmental Sciences Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)