Role of wood-based products in absorbing atmospheric carbon.
The amount of carbon (C) stored in wood products manufactured in Finland was calculated with the help of a model using wood harvesting statistics, product flows and lifespans in order to study how much C could be set aside from the atmospheric C cycle outside the forest ecosystem. The calculations showed that on the average 9.9 Tg C/a was in harvested timber in 1986–1991 in Finland. C emissions of timber harvest and transport were 0.1 Tg C/a. In production processes about one third of the C bound in in timber was released into the atmosphere, but two thirds was still bound in products. After 50 and 100 years, more than 40% and 33% of the C initially in products was either in products still in use or disposed to landfills. The wood product C storage was most sensitive to landfill decay rate and to the burning of abandoned products for energy, but not to the same extent to the length of the lifespan of products.
Published in 1994