Carbon balance




Forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle. They capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon in living and dead biomass within forests and harvested wood products. Carbon balance refers to the net change (gains and losses) in the amount of carbon within forests and wood products as forests grow, die and are changed by disturbances such as fire, drought and timber harvesting.

Australia has well developed monitoring and modelling systems to monitor historical carbon balance and predict future carbon balance under alternative climate, policy and management scenarios.

Priority RFA information

Contemporary information on the science of carbon storage and forests, the contribution of NSW forests to the global carbon cycle, and opportunities to enhance carbon storage in forests.

Sustainability Indicators

Inform measures and reporting on performance in relation to the following Sustainability Indicators:

Criterion 5: Maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles

  • 5.1a Contribution of forest ecosystems and forest industries to the global greenhouse gas balance

Focus areas

  • Simulating and forecasting the contribution of NSW forests to the global carbon cycle; and opportunities to enhance carbon storage in forest.

Evaluation questions for all RFA regions

  1. What is the carbon balance of NSW forests currently and under different scenarios?

Monitoring activities

  1. Carbon balance of NSW forests cross tenure
    The Mullion Group, CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries
    Completion by May 2021
    More details here

  2. Climate Change and Natural Hazard Technical Working Group under the Common Planning Assumptions Group

Research

  1. Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program
    Part of the DPIE Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030
    More details here

See research priorities.

Outputs

  • Historical trend for carbon stock, carbon stock change and greenhouse gas emissions of NSW forests for the period 1990 to 2018.
  • Projected future trend for carbon stock, carbon stock change and greenhouse gas emissions of NSW forests for future policy, management and climate change scenarios.
  • Research priorities to improve predictions of the impact of policy, forest management and climate change on the carbon balance of NSW forests, including opportunities to enhance the storage of carbon in NSW forests.