Jan 4 • 3 min read
Experiences in Carbon Modelling
Forests play a key role in fighting climate change as they are an important carbon pool. When a forest grows, it functions as a carbon sink, absorbing more carbon than it releases to the atmosphere. When a forest is disturbed, either naturally or by human actions, it becomes a carbon source.
Sounds simple? Actually, modelling the carbon balance in forests is quite complicated due to the dynamic and complex nature of forest ecosystems. At Simosol, we have broad experience in modelling carbon balance in forest ecosystems, analysing carbon balance in dynamic landscapes, and developing tools to support the use of carbon models.
Carbon balance modelling in forest ecosystems. An accurate carbon balance model needs to consider what happens above and below the ground in a forest ecosystem. We have modelled the carbon balance of the forests owned by major cities in Finland, including Helsinki, Espoo, Lahti, Turku and Vantaa. Together with the cities’ forest planning experts, we modelled the carbon flows within the forest ecosystem, as well as the whole life cycle of the carbon contained in the harvested timber and the various end products. Currently these models allow our clients, such as large industrial forest owners to analyse their forests’ carbon balance over long time periods in different forest management scenarios.
Carbon balance analysis in dynamic landscapes. Forests are only one of the many carbon pools in an ecosystem. Recently, our team, together with the Viikki Tropical Research Institute at the University of Helsinki and CIFOR, developed an easy to use application for analysing ecosystem carbon balance in changing landscapes. CarboScen has already been used in various countries in South-America, Africa and Asia for analysing the carbon balance in dynamic landscapes. Read more about CarboScen here.
Carbon flow visualisation. Sometimes it is necessary to embellish a message for it to draw attention. Together with the top-tier researchers of the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, we developed a carbon flow visualisation tool named Carbon Tree. It is an animation, based on the measurements at the SMEAR II station, which shows how a medium-sized pine in Southern Finland exchanges carbon dioxide in real time.
User interfaces for carbon models. To the surprise of many, most of the carbon in a forest is not contained in the trees or other vegetation, but underground! Therefore modelling the soil carbon balance is very important. We have been working together with the people at Finnish Meteorological Institute to develop the user interface for the soil carbon model Yasso. We also utilise the Yasso model ourselves on a daily basis in our carbon balance modelling.
If you’re interested in accounting or monitoring the carbon in your forests, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our comprehensive carbon modelling tools and expertise can be easily applied anywhere in the world.
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