Carbon Cycling Models: Assessing Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions from a Defined Area

Authored by: Søren Nors Nielsen

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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To abate and mitigate the still increasing emissions of carbon-based greenhouse gases it is important to have relevant knowledge not only about the pools of carbon in our society but also the transformations going on between pools, that is, the carbon cycle as a whole. To take actions locally and on an individual scale it gets important to know how local activities affect the transports between pools and the conversion processes, quantities, and qualities, and how they are developing respectively on both short- and long-term scale. Therefore, it is found necessary to construct models of the carbon cycle at a smaller scale in order to provide this knowledge that makes it possible to take the right local actions at the management and political levels. Such small-scale system models should not be seen as replacing the models of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) that tend to cover the whole globe but rather they serve as a complementary to the large-scale models. It is recommended that the small-scale models comply as much as possible with the framework of IPCC. In some cases the conceptualization and description of processes has to be adapted to give the proper information about a specific society under consideration. A few examples of such local model of carbon cycles usually referred to as carbon cycle models have been developed and are used as basis to this description.

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