Hawai‘i Carbon Storage and Greenhouse Gas Flux Assessment

Science Center Objects

In recent years, the U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting a national biologic carbon sequestration assessment in the conterminous U.S.  The assessment is designed to meet the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which calls for coverage of all 50 states and all ecosystems (including forests, grasslands, wetlands, agricultural lands, and rivers, lakes, and estuaries). The assessment focuses on current and potential amounts of carbon stored in the ecosystems, and effects of both natural and anthropogenic processes (such as fire, climate change, and land use change) on carbon sequestration. This project focuses on assessing current carbon stocks and potential change in carbon sequestration for the main Hawaiian Islands under future climate change scenarios. This effort will involve collating existing carbon related data (land cover, fire, climate, soils, productivity, land use, wetland, etc.,) and analyzing it to develop an estimate of the current carbon stocks and fluxes under current climate conditions. 

In recent years, the U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting a national biologic carbon sequestration assessment in the conterminous U.S.  The assessment is designed to meet the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which calls for coverage of all 50 states and all ecosystems.

View of tree roots from inside lava tube
Tree roots seen from inside a lava tube. Photo: J. Jacobi

Overview:

In recent years, the U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting a national biologic carbon sequestration assessment in the conterminous U.S.  The assessment is designed to meet the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which calls for coverage of all 50 states and all ecosystems (including forests, grasslands, wetlands, agricultural lands, and rivers, lakes, and estuaries). The assessment focuses on current and potential amounts of carbon stored in ecosystems, and effects of both natural and anthropogenic processes (such as fire, climate change, and land use change) on carbon sequestration. 

This project focuses on assessing current carbon stocks and potential change in carbon sequestration for the main Hawaiian Islands under future climate change scenarios. Existing carbon related data (land cover, fire, climate, soils, productivity, land use, wetland, etc.,) were collated and analyzed to develop an estimate of the current carbon stocks and fluxes under current climate conditions. Additionally, we modeled carbon sequestration and flux under future climate conditions, specifically 2100, based on climate projections.

This effort is directly linked to the USGS LandCarbon program’s nation-wide assessment of carbon stocks and greenhouse-gas fluxes and relied on cooperation and collaboration with many other organizations and research scientists. 

Project Objectives:

View of Hanawi to coast
View of Hanawi to the coast. Photo: J. Jacobi
  1. Develop Hawai‘i carbon stocks assessment framework to identify data needs, analysis methodology, and summary of reports and publications.
  2. Develop a team of collaborators to share data and results of the carbon assessment.
  3. Compile existing data relevant to assessing current and future carbon stocks and fluxes for the main Hawaiian Islands.
  4. Analyze the data to produce an assessment of current and future carbon stocks and fluxes for the main Hawaiian Islands.
  5. Provide results to be utilized by the USGS LandCarbon program in their nation-wide assessment of carbon stocks and greenhouse-gas fluxes, as well as by the State of Hawai‘i and several other organizations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy, NPS) in developing strategies to address carbon sequestration in the future.

Progress:

A final report is available.