The Dynamics of Carbon Sequestration and Alternative Carbon Accounting, with an Application to the Upper Mississippi River Basin
Ecological Economics Vol. 54 no. 1 (July 1 2005): 23-35.
Carbon sequestration is a temporal process in which carbon is continuously
being stored/released over a period of time. Dierent methods of carbon
accounting can be used to account for this temporal nature including annual average carbon, annualized carbon, and ton-year carbon. In this paper, starting by exposing the underlying connections among these methods, we examine how the comparisons of sequestration projects are aected by these methods and the major factors aecting them. We explore the empirical implications on carbon sequestration policies by applying these accounting methods to the Upper Mississippi River Basin, a large and important agriculture area in the US. We found that the dierences are signicant in
terms of the location of land that might be chosen and the distribution of carbon sequestration over the area, although the total amount of carbon sequestered does not dier considerably across programs that use dierent accounting methods or dierent values of the major factors.