Is biomass from boreal forests better or worse than fossil fuels from a climate perspective?. A work in progress By Bjart Holtsmark Statistics Norway. The traditional starting point. Sjølie, H. K., E. Trømborg, B. Solberg and T. F. Bolkesjø in Forest Policy and Economics 12, 57-66, (2010)
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A work in progress
By Bjart Holtsmark
An overlapping generations model of trees fuels from a climate perspective?
The model consists of a set of parcels, each of 1 km2, all with the same properties, but with different time since last clear cutting (age)
Productivity follows the Braastad (1975) production tables – probably too small areas - adjusted
As dead wood decomposes slowly, this gives accumulation of dead wood in older forests – important part of the forests carbon stock
After clearcutting in a parcel the growth path restartsThe forest’s standard parcel
11 fuels from a climate perspective?
First conclusion: Harvesting of wood fuels is not a climate neutral activity – even if albedo is accounted for
Based on the assumption of climate neutrality, wood fuels from the Scandinavian forest have conventionally, from a climate perspective, been considered as a better energy source than fossil fuels.
Policies in order to increase the supply of biofuels through increased harvest from the forest.
In this paper I find:
Wood fuels are not climate neutral and that continued use of fossil fuels is in most cases a better alternative than increased use of biomass from the forest.
Relevance beyond the Scandinavian debate:
The Scandinavian forest is part of the vast boreal forests
A map of the boreal forestsBackground