News of the WeekClimate Change

Panel Estimates Possible Carbon 'Sinks'

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Science  12 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5468, pp. 942-943
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5468.942

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Summary

Just how much carbon can a forest or farmland hold, and how easy is it to measure? The December 1997 Kyoto Protocol allows developed countries to meet tough carbon emissions targets--5% below 1990 levels, between 2008 and 2012--both by reducing emissions from fossil fuels and, in a controversial option, by "sequestering" carbon in forests or other types of land. A new report attempts to answer the question scientifically, but it is unlikely to make the option more palatable politically.