A life cycle and product type based estimator for quantifying the carbon stored in wood products
Background Timber harvesting and industrial wood processing laterally transfer the carbon stored in forest sectors to wood products creating a wood products carbon pool. The carbon stored in wood products is allocated to end-use wood products (e.g., paper, furniture), landfill, and charcoal. Wood products can store substantial amounts of carbon and contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse effects. Therefore, accurate accounts for the size of wood products carbon pools for different regions are essential to estimating the land-atmosphere carbon exchange by using the bottom-up approach of carbon stock change. Results To quantify the carbon stored in wood products, we developed a state-of-the-art estimator (Wood Products Carbon Storage Estimator, WPsCS Estimator) that includes the wood products disposal, recycling, and waste wood decomposition processes. The wood products carbon pool in this estimator has three subpools: (1) end-use wood products, (2) landfill, and (3) charcoal carbon. In addition, it has a user-friendly interface, which can be used to easily parameterize and calibrate an estimation. To evaluate its performance, we applied this estimator to account for the carbon stored in wood products made from the timber harvested in Maine, USA, and the carbon storage of wood products consumed in the United States. Conclusion The WPsCS Estimator can efficiently and easily quantify the carbon stored in harvested wood products for a given region over a specific period, which was demonstrated with two illustrative examples. In addition, WPsCS Estimator has a user-friendly interface, and all parameters can be easily modified.
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Wei, X., Zhao, J., Hayes, D.J. et al. A life cycle and product type based estimator for quantifying the carbon stored in wood products. Carbon Balance Manage 18, 1 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13021-022-00220-y