Potential Carbon Storage and Albedo Change due to Reforestation of Pasture in Scania.
Abstract: Using reforestation for climate change mitigation is complex due to the multiple impacts forest has on climate. This study analyses the effectiveness in using reforestation on pasture in Scania (south Sweden) as a tool for climate mitigation. The potential carbon storage in biomass and the impact on land surface properties that determine the absorption of radiation (albedo) was assessed. To answer the research questions, a GIS analysis and a literature study was performed. Due to the small area of pasture in Scania, the potential carbon storage is estimated to be relatively low. The carbon storage capacity of different categories of forest was estimated to be of the same magnitude. However, it was found that the carbon storage capacity of the type of forest found in national parks was slightly lower than of coniferous forest. The results from the literature study show that pasture, deciduous forest and coniferous forest have an annual mean albedo of 0.305, 0.190 and 0.144, respectively. It was also noticed that, between the classes, the winter albedo varied the most. The sum of the negative radiative forcing caused by carbon sequestration due to reforestation and the positive radiative forcing caused by the resulting albedo change, indicated a marginal negative net radiative forcing. Based on these results, it was not possible to determine whether reforestation on Scanian pasture is an effective climate mitigation tool. Further studies must be performed to better understand how carbon storage and albedo is related, but also to understand the magnitude of other climate related aspects such as aerosols. Also, how climate change will influence these effects needs to be further investigated, as it can influence the effectiveness of reforestation as a tool for climate mitigation.
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