Response to "Carbon Calculations to Consider"

TitleResponse to "Carbon Calculations to Consider"
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSearchinger TD, Likens GE, Hamburg SP, Melillo J, Chameides W, Havlik P, Kammen DM, Obersteiner M, Robertson P, Schlesinger WH, Tilman DG, Lubowski R
Date Published02/2010
Type of ArticleCommentary
Keywordsbiofuels, land use change

T. Searchinger et al. respond to a letter written by Bent Sorensen in Science, in which Sorensen stresses the importance of distinguishing between different uses of wood from cleared forests when it comes to carbon accounting, namely the use as fuel source or as long-lasting consumption goods such as housing or furniture.

Although the team of Searching (among them Dan Kammen), agrees with the support for more detailed carbon accounting, they question the carbon neutrality of long-lived consumption goods. Felled forests release a considerable amount of carbon due to unharvested branches roots and soils. At the same time they cannot continue with carbon sequestration. These two aspects hold true independently from the future use of wooden products. Due to the urgency for mitigation of extreme climate change in the next decades, the long payback period of bioenergy derived from cleared forests has to be examined very critically.

Read the response letter by Searchinger et al.187.23 KB
Read the original Sciene article "Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error"305.31 KB