Teagasc Forest Carbon Tool
Forests play a major role in the capture & removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Teagasc's Forest Carbon online tool is a user-friendly way for existing and potential forest owners to calculate how much carbon can be removed in woodlands and highlights the important role of harvested wood products.
The Forest Carbon tool was developed with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and developed by Teagasc with specialist input from FERs Ltd.
What the Forest Carbon tool does
The Forest Carbon Tool takes user-defined descriptive information on the forest and combines it with existing growth models to estimate potential carbon storage over the lifetime of the forest. This tool provides indicative information only and is not intended to provide definitive estimates on any particular forest. The tool has been developed to contribute to the provision of general information on the capacity of forests to store carbon. It also highlights the complexities and challenges of estimating carbon across different species, soil types and ages.
The planting of new forests is a highly significant land-based measure to help address the effects of climate change. Forests play an important role in the capture and removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and subsequent storage in forests biomass and soils, a process called sequestration.
The model indicates that mean annual sequestration rates can range from 1 to 9 tonnes of CO2 per hectare and is influenced by the species, age and soil types entered. It also highlights that all types of forestry have a key role to play in mitigating climate change. Conifer species can return high sequestration rates especially when harvested wood products are taken in account while broadleaved forests also cumulatively remove large amounts of CO2 over their lifetime.
This is the first version of the Forest Carbon Tool and incorporates a range of assumptions and system boundaries for the data provided. There is an ongoing need to further develop our knowledge on the impact of a range of factors such as forest types, species choices, rotation lengths and management approaches on sequestration potential. To this end, it is anticipated that updates and enhancements can be incorporated into future versions as new data and research become available.
The Forestry Carbon Tool is available here on the Teagasc website