Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: December 2010

20 - Insights from EMF-associated agricultural and forestry greenhouse gas mitigation studies

from Part III - Mitigation of greenhouse gases



Integrated assessment modeling (IAM) as employed by the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) generally involves a multi-sector appraisal of greenhouse gas emission (GHGE) mitigation alternatives and climate change effects, typically at the global level. Such a multi-sector evaluation encompasses potential climate change effects, and mitigative actions within the agricultural and forestry (AF) sectors. In comparison with many of the other sectors covered by IAM, the AF sectors may require somewhat different treatment owing to their critical dependence upon spatially and temporally varying resource and climatic conditions. In particular, in large countries like the United States, forest production conditions vary dramatically across the landscape. For example, some areas in the southern United States present conditions favorable to production of fast-growing, heat-tolerant pine species, while more northern regions often favor slower-growing hardwood and softwood species. Moreover, some lands are currently not suitable for forest production (e.g., the arid western plains). Similarly, in agriculture, the United States has areas where citrus and cotton can be grown and other areas where barley and wheat are more suitable. This diversity across the landscape causes differential GHGE mitigation potential in the face of climatic changes and/or responses to policy or price incentives.

It is difficult for a reasonably sized global IAM to reflect the full range of sub-national geographic AF production possibilities alluded to above. AF response in the face of climate change alterations in temperature precipitation regimes plus mitigation incentives will be likely to involve region-specific shifts in land use and agricultural/forest production.

Adams, D. M., Alig, R. J., Callaway, J. M., McCarl, B. A. and Winnett, S. M. (1996). The Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM): Model Description. USDA Forest Service Report PNW-RP-495.
Adams, D. M., Alig, R. J., McCarl, B. A. et al. (2005). FASOMGHG Conceptual Structure, and Specification: Documentation.
Birdsey, R. A. (1996). Carbon storage for major forest types and regions in the conterminous United States. In Forests and Global Change, Vol. 2: Forest Management Opportunities for Mitigating Carbon Emissions, ed. Sampson, R. N. and Hair, D.. Washington DC: American Forests.
Burtraw, D., Krupnick, A.Palmer, al. (2003). Ancillary benefits of reduced air pollution in the US from moderate greenhouse gas mitigation policies in the electricity sector. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 45, 650–673.
Callaway, J. M. and McCarl, B. A. (1996). The economic consequences of substituting carbon payments for crop subsidies in US agriculture. Environmental and Resource Economics 7, 15–43.
Elbakidze, L. and McCarl, B. A. (2004). Should we consider the co-benefits of agricultural GHG offsets. Choices, 3rd Quarter,
Greenpeace (2003). Sinks in the CDM: After the climate, biodiversity goes down the drain. analysi.pdf.
IPCC (2001). Climate Change 2001: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. Metz, B., Davidson, O., Swart, R. and Pan, J.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kim, M. (2004). Economic Investigation of Discount Factors for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emission Offsets. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University.
Lal, R., Kimble, J. M., Follett, R. F. and Cole, C. V. (1998). The Potential of U.S. Cropland to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press Inc..
Lee, H.-C. (2002). The Dynamic Role for Carbon Sequestration by the U.S. Agricultural and Forest Sectors in Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University.
Lee, H.-C., McCarl, B. A., Gillig, D. and Murray, B. C. (2005). U.S. agriculture and forestry based greenhouse gas emission mitigation: an economic exploration of time dependent effects. In Rural Lands, Agriculture and Climate beyond 2015: Usage and Management Responses, ed. Brouwer, F. and McCarl, B. A.. Dordrecht: Kluwer Press.
Marland, G., Fruit, K. and Sedjo, R. (2001). Accounting for sequestered carbon: the question of permanence. Environmental Science and Policy 4, 259–268.
Matthews, S., O'Connor, R. and Plantinga, A. J. (2002). Quantifying the impacts on biodiversity of policies for carbon sequestration in forests. Ecological Economics 40(1), 71–87.
McCarl, B. A. and Schneider, U. A. (2000). Agriculture's role in a greenhouse gas emission mitigation world: an economic perspective. Review of Agricultural Economics 22(1), 134–159.
McCarl, B. A. and Schneider, U. A. (2001). The cost of GHG mitigation in U.S. agriculture and forestry. Science 294, 2481–2482.
McCarl, B. A. and Spreen, T. H. (1996). Applied mathematical programming using algebraic systems. Available at
McCarl, B. A., Murray, B. C. and Schneider, U. A. (2001). Jointly estimating carbon sequestration supply from forests and agriculture. Paper presented at Western Economics Association Meetings, San Francisco, July 5–8, 2001.
McCarl, B. A., Gillig, D. Lee, H.-C. et al. (2005). Potential for biofuel-based greenhouse gas emission mitigation: rationale and potential. In Agriculture as a Producer and Consumer of Energy, ed. Outlaw, J. L., Collins, K. and Duffield, J.. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing, pp. 300–316.
Pattanayak, S. K., McCarl, B. A., Sommer, A. al. (2005). Water quality co-effects of greenhouse gas mitigation in US agriculture. Climatic Change 71, 341–372.
Plantinga, A. J. and Wu, J. (2003). Co-benefits from carbon sequestration in forests: evaluating reductions in agricultural externalities from and afforestation policy in Wisconsin. Land Economics 79(1), 74–85.
Richards, K. R. (1997). The time value of carbon in bottom-up studies. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology 27, 279–292.
Sands, R. D. and McCarl, B. A. (2005). Competitiveness of terrestrial greenhouse gas offsets: are they a bridge to the future? Paper presented at the USDA Greenhouse Gas Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland, March 22–24, 2005.
Schneider, U. (2000). Agricultural Sector Analysis on Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation in the United States. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University.
Schneider, U. A. and McCarl, B. A. (2003). Economic potential of biomass based fuels for greenhouse gas emission mitigation. Environmental and Resource Economics 24(4), 291–312.
Smith, G. R., McCarl, B. A.Li, C. al. (2007). Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emission Offsets Generated by Changing Management. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
West, T. O. and Post, W. M. (2002). Soil organic carbon sequestration rates by tillage and crop rotation: a global data analysis. Soil Science Society of America Journal 66, 1930–1946.
Williams, J. R., Jones, C. A. and Dyke, P. T. (1984). A modeling approach to determining the relationship between erosion and soil productivity. Transactions of the ASAE 27, 129–144.