A Dynamic Model of Forest Carbon Storage in the United States During Climatic Change

WithBrent Sohngen, Robert Mendelsohn

As carbon dioxide increases and climate changes over the next century, will ecosystems react by storing more carbon or by releasing it? While many ecosystem models predict that natural forest systems ultimately will store more carbon, transient scenarios predict that they will release carbon during the transition. In this paper, we integrate ecosystem and management responses to a climate scenario and predict that increased amounts of carbon will be stored in both the short run and the long run. These increases will come from two areas: adaptive responses of forest managers and carbon storage within the economic system.