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Article

Howland Forest, ME, USA: Multi-Gas Flux (CO2, CH4, N2O) Social Cost Product Underscores Limited Carbon Proxies

Executive Management, Planetary Emissions Management Inc., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Academic Editor: Cezary Kabala
Land 2021, 10(4), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040436
Received: 15 March 2021 / Revised: 9 April 2021 / Accepted: 13 April 2021 / Published: 20 April 2021
Forest carbon sequestration is a widely accepted natural climate solution. However, methods to determine net carbon offsets are based on commercial carbon proxies or CO2 eddy covariance research with limited methodological comparisons. Non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHG) (e.g., CH4, N2O) receive less attention in the context of forests, in part, due to carbon denominated proxies and to the cost for three-gas eddy covariance platforms. Here we describe and analyze results for direct measurement of CO2, CH4, and N2O by eddy covariance and forest carbon estimation protocols at the Howland Forest, ME, the only site where these methods overlap. Limitations of proxy-based protocols, including the exclusion of sink terms for non-CO2 GHGs, applied to the Howland project preclude multi-gas forest products. In contrast, commercial products based on direct measurement are established by applying molecule-specific social cost factors to emission reductions creating a new forest offset (GHG-SCF), integrating multiple gases into a single value of merit for forest management of global warming. Estimated annual revenue for GHG-SCF products, applicable to the realization of a Green New Deal, range from ~$120,000 USD covering the site area of ~557 acres in 2021 to ~$12,000,000 USD for extrapolation to 40,000 acres in 2040, assuming a 3% discount rate. In contrast, California Air Resources Board compliance carbon offsets determined by the Climate Action Reserve protocol show annual errors of up to 2256% relative to eddy covariance data from two adjacent towers across the project area. Incomplete carbon accounting, offset over-crediting and inadequate independent offset verification are consistent with error results. The GHG-SCF product contributes innovative science-to-commerce applications incentivizing restoration and conservation of forests worldwide to assist in the management of global warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: California Air Resources Board; Climate Action Reserve; eddy covariance; Howland Forest; social cost of CO2; CH4; N2O California Air Resources Board; Climate Action Reserve; eddy covariance; Howland Forest; social cost of CO2; CH4; N2O
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marino, B.D.V.; Bautista, N.; Rousseaux, B. Howland Forest, ME, USA: Multi-Gas Flux (CO2, CH4, N2O) Social Cost Product Underscores Limited Carbon Proxies. Land 2021, 10, 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040436

AMA Style

Marino BDV, Bautista N, Rousseaux B. Howland Forest, ME, USA: Multi-Gas Flux (CO2, CH4, N2O) Social Cost Product Underscores Limited Carbon Proxies. Land. 2021; 10(4):436. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040436

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marino, Bruno D.V., Nahuel Bautista, and Brandt Rousseaux. 2021. "Howland Forest, ME, USA: Multi-Gas Flux (CO2, CH4, N2O) Social Cost Product Underscores Limited Carbon Proxies" Land 10, no. 4: 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040436

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