Data Analysis and Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removal for the IPCC Sector Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry Sectors in Ireland

Environmental Research Centre - ERC Report 7 - P. O'Brien

Summary: Environmental Research Centre - ERC Report 7 - P. O'Brien

Published: 2008

ISBN: 1-84095-246-6

Pages: 71

Filesize: 2,135 KB

Format: pdf


Executive Summary

Emissions linked to land use, land-use change and forestry represent up to 30% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Deforestation has a significant impact on these emissions. Increased afforestation is regarded as having significant potential to act as a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). With appropriate management, Ireland’s land resources may make an important contribution to CO2 sequestration. However, the development of management strategies needs to be based on sound scientific understanding of this area.

This document presents the detailed methods employed to generate an estimate of the exchange of GHGs to the atmosphere due to land use and land-use change in Ireland, in compliance with UN Convention reporting requirements. The document is especially concerned with the methods employed in the completion of the National Inventory Report (NIR) 2006 for Ireland.

The estimated GHG emissions sinks associated with crop and grass land-use types and changes to these over the period are based on the procedures outlined in the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC GPG) for Tier 1 estimation of the GHG exchange to the atmosphere. This is the default used in the absence of national data and provides a basis for further development of this analysis.

The carbon fluxes linked to forestry biomass and forestry dead organic matter (DOM) are based on analysis based on research carried out by COFORD, the forest research agency. These are estimated using more sophisticated methods (the CARBWARE model), as part of the COFORD CARBiFOR project, described elsewhere.

The analysis shows that GHG emissions are associated with:

  • Grasslands, due to lime spreading, biomass loss, soil disturbance and changes in grassland management
  • Cropland, due to soil disturbance and biomass loss
  • Forestry biomass loss, DOM, and soil disturbance
  • Settlements change in biomass
  • Wetlands biomass loss and soil disturbance
  • Others biomass loss, soil disturbance and changes in management
  • Forestry biomass is the primary sink for carbon.

The default analysis has highlighted issues with respect to liming of land which is a significant source of CO2.

The default analysis forms a basis for incorporation of outcomes from current research projects in order to provide more scientifically robust analysis.

Except where stated, emissions are based on the default emission factors and carbon stocks published in the IPCC GPG.