New, low estimate for carbon stock in global forest vegetation based on inventory data
Several reports by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have referred to published estimates ranging from 352 to 536 x 109 tons for the global pool of carbon in forest vegetation. However, a rounded estimate of 300 x 109 tons can be derived from the recent Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 of the FAO, as shown in this paper. By comparing with independent empirical evidence as published in recent scientific literature and by considering sampling principles and the disturbance cycles of large forest regions, it is argued that the new lower estimate is more realistic. A downward correction of the estimate would make an important contribution to balancing the global carbon budget.
Received 23 April 2003 Accepted 5 September 2003 Published 31 December 2003