Assessing Alaska’s carbon resources
An assessment of carbon stocks in Alaska’s soils and vegetation helped set a baseline for monitoring future change.
Alaska’s soils and vegetation store vast quantities of carbon. Increases in temperature throughout the 21st century may increasingly expose these stores to loss from increased wildfire,
Model simulations included in the assessment suggest that carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems would increase substantially across all climate scenarios studied, and that terrestrial uplands and wetlands are very likely to act as sinks for
The Alaska assessment was conducted by a scientific team including USGS, USDA Forest Service, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It was the first of its kind for the majority of the state, filling large knowledge gaps in carbon baseline distribution.
1 Zhu, Zhiliang, and McGuire, A.D., eds., 2016, Baseline and projected future carbon storage and greenhouse-gas fluxes in ecosystems of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1826, 196 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/pp1826.