Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Measuring costs of carbon sequestration in northwest Russia

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  • Global warming that may cause environmental catastrophes, dramatic economic losses and, in extreme case, may lead to an extinction of human race, is driven by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and others) into atmosphere. It has been shown that forests can efficiently absorb carbon from the atmosphere and reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases mitigating climatic change. In this study we explore environmentally oriented forest management options for carbon mitigation. We concentrate on Northwest Russia, St. Petersburg region in particular. This research is a part of larger project comparing carbon dynamics in two ecosystems: U.S. Pacific Northwest and Northwest Russia. We use STANIDCARB model to simulate the growth of forest and account for sequestered carbon that allow exploring the effect of different management regimes on carbon storage and economic value. We evaluate 140 regimes with different combinations of rotation length, regeneration type, intensity and frequency of thinnings. We employ Data Envelopment Analysis to identify the set of carbon and profit efficient management regimes. The set of efficient points comprises production possibility frontier that shows a tradeoff between stored carbon and monetary value. Then, we measure the marginal costs of carbon sequestration along the production possibility frontier. The results suggested that the marginal costs of carbon sequestration exhibit diminishing returns and are negatively correlated with the discount rate. At 4% discount rate the marginal costs vary from 0.08 to 4.71 USD.
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