Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Thompson says America must "unchoose" policies that have led to mass incarceration

Axinn says new data on campus rape will "allow students to see for themselves the full extent of this problem"

Frey says white population is growing in Detroit and other large cities


Susan Murphy to speak at U-M kickoff for data science initiative, Oct 6, Rackham

Andrew Goodman-Bacon, former trainee, wins 2015 Nevins Prize for best dissertation in economic history

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 5 at noon, 6050 ISR
Colter Mitchell: Biological consequences of poverty

Carbon stored in human settlements: Conterminous US

Publication Abstract

Churkina, G., Daniel Brown, and G. Keoleian. 2010. "Carbon stored in human settlements: Conterminous US." Global change Biology, 16: 135-143.

Urban areas are home to more than half of the world's people, responsible for 470% of anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide and 76% of wood used for industrial purposes. By 2050 the proportion of the urban population is expected to increase to 70% worldwide. Despite fast rates of change and potential value for mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions, the organic carbon storage in human settlements has not been well quantified. Here, we show that human settlements can store as much carbon per unit area (23–42 kgCm!2 urban areas and 7–16 kgCm!2exurban areas) as tropical forests, which have the highest carbon density of natural ecosystems (4–25 kgCm!2). By the year 2000 carbon storage attributed to human settlements of the conterminous United States was 18 Pg of carbon or 10% of its total land carbon storage. Sixty-four percent of this carbon was attributed to soil, 20% to vegetation, 11% to landfills, and 5% to buildings. To offset rising urban emissions of carbon, regional and national governments should consider how to protect or even to increase carbon storage of human-dominated landscapes. Rigorous studies addressing carbon budgets of human settlements and vulnerability of their carbon storage are needed.

DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02002.x (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next