Achieving the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement requires forest-based mitigation. Collective progress towards this goal will be assessed by the Paris Agreement’s Global stocktake. At present, there is a discrepancy of about 4 GtCO2 yr−1 in global anthropogenic net land-use emissions between global models (reflected in IPCC assessment reports) and aggregated national GHG inventories (under the UNFCCC). We show that a substantial part of this discrepancy (about 3.2 GtCO2 yr−1) can be explained by conceptual differences in anthropogenic forest sink estimation, related to the representation of environmental change impacts and the areas considered as managed. For a more credible tracking of collective progress under the Global stocktake, these conceptual differences between models and inventories need to be reconciled. We implement a new method of disaggregation of global land model results that allows greater comparability with GHG inventories. This provides a deeper understanding of model–inventory differences, allowing more transparent analysis of forest-based mitigation and facilitating a more accurate Global stocktake.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
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The authors thank J. Pongratz for discussing an early stage of the analysis, V. Korotkov for checking our analysis on Russia, and G. M. Domke for checking our analysis on the United States. J.H. was supported by EU FP7 through project LUC4C (GA603542) and the UK NERC project GGRiLS-GAP. G.G. was supported by Administrative Arrangement Number 340203/2016/742550/SER/CLIMA.A3. A.K.J. was supported by the NSF (AGS 12-43071) and DOE (DE-SC0016323). J.E.M.S.N. was supported by the German Research Foundation’s Emmy Noether Programme (grant number PO1751/1-1). G.G., J.H., G.P.P. and L.P. received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 776810 (VERIFY). C.D.K. was supported by the US DOE under Contract DE-AC02-05CH11231 as part of their RGMA (BGC-Feedbacks SFA) and TES Programs (NGEE-Tropics). A.K.J. was supported under the US NSF (NSF-AGS-12-43071).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Grassi, G., House, J., Kurz, W.A. et al. Reconciling global-model estimates and country reporting of anthropogenic forest CO2 sinks. Nature Clim Change 8, 914–920 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0283-x
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