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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Smock cited in amicus brief for Supreme Court case on citizenship rights for foreign-born children of unwed parents

Levy, Buchmueller and colleagues examine Medicaid expansion's impact on ER visits

ISR data show large partisan gap in consumer expectations for economy

More News

Highlights

MiCDA Research Fellowship - applications due July 21, 2017

U-M awarded $58 million to develop ideas for preventing and treating health problems

Bailey, Eisenberg , and Fomby promoted at PSC

Former PSC trainee Eric Chyn wins PAA's Dorothy S. Thomas Award for best paper

More Highlights

Carbon stored in human settlements: Conterminous US

Publication Abstract

Churkina, G., Daniel G. 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