Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Sun, Changyou

Committee Member

Freeman, Matthew Alan

Committee Member

Gordon, Jason S.

Committee Member

Munn, Ian A.

Date of Degree

1-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Major

Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Forest Resources

Department

Department of Forestry

Abstract

After timber harvesting, carbon in wood is transferred to products pool and remains entrapped for a considerable time. It is necessary to estimate this carbon flux in the harvested wood products (HWP); otherwise, carbon emission estimates of a country will be overestimated at the time of harvest. Furthermore, carbon estimates of the HWP must be assessed for uncertainties which need to be reduced as far as possible. Environmental implications might be associated with the HWP traded in the national and international markets. In the current context, there is a lack of economic-environmental studies that relate to the trade of HWP. The first part of this dissertation estimated the U.S. HWP contribution to carbon removals or emissions from 1990 to 2014 using the stock-change, production, atmospheric flow, and simple decay approaches. It concluded that the U.S. HWP stored carbon under all accounting approaches. Net annual carbon stored in the HWP, however, declined under all approaches from 1990 to 2014. The second part of the dissertation investigated uncertainty in the estimates of carbon stock in HWP using Monte Carlo simulation. A sensitivity analysis was also performed. Results showed that the net annual carbon accumulation in HWP was affected by uncertainty associated with input parameters. Carbon estimates in the HWP were most sensitive to uncertainty in the parameter for the carbon conversion factor for roundwood. The third part of the dissertation used a multi-regional input-output model to analyze embodied carbon emissions in the U.S. trade of HWP with its major trading partners – Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Russia. Results demonstrated that the U.S. was a net importer of carbon emissions involving HWP. China was the major contributor of imported emissions, and Canada was the biggest recipient of the U.S. exported emissions. The consumption-based method had a higher emissions inventory in the HWP than the production-based method. Per-capita emissions in the HWP increased with an increase in per-capita GDP. These studies can be informative for policy makers in incorporating HWP in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, and in understanding the economic-environmental relationships of international trade of HWP.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/19457

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