News FocusClimate Change

Coming to Grips With the World's Greenhouse Gases

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Science  24 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5376, pp. 504-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5376.504a

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Negotiators hammering out the details for implementing the Kyoto climate change treaty have agreed that changes in forest cover since 1990 can be counted for--and against--a nation trying to meet its carbon dioxide emissions obligations. But the treaty is hazy about how to calculate forest carbon stocks and whether nations can use forestry projects in developing countries to claim carbon credits. Efforts to clarify the CO-forest connection have just begun in earnest, with a U.N. workshop scheduled for September, and the results will be critical to the treaty's success. Scientists are therefore mounting an ambitious effort to trace the flux of CObetween land and air.