OneNOAA Science Seminar Series: Recent Trends, Drivers, and Projections of Carbon Cycle in Forests and Wetland Soils across North America

Presenters: Grant Domke, USDA Forest Service; Chris Williams, Clark University; Randy Kolka, Research Soil Scientist, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station; and Carl Trettin, Research Soil Scientist, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station

Event Type: Webinars and Virtual Events

When: 12 March 2019

Where: Online: 8:00-9:00am AKDT, 12:00-1:00pm EDT

More information: 
Link to OneNOAA Science Seminars


Seminar 3 in the Series, From Science to Solutions: The State of the Carbon Cycle, the 2nd State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2).

Abstract for first presentation:

Forest ecosystems are the largest terrestrial carbon sink on earth and their management has been recognized as a relatively cost-effective strategy for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. In North America, forests, including urban forests, woodlands and the products obtained from them, play a major role in the carbon cycle. In this presentation we examine recent trends, drivers, and projections of U.S. and North American carbon cycle processes, stocks, and flows in the context of interactions with global scale budgets and climate change impacts in managed and unmanaged forest ecosystems. We will also highlight carbon management science and tools for informing decisions and opportunities for improving carbon measurements, observations, and projections in forests.

Abstract for second presentation:

Because carbon (C) density of terrestrial wetlands is much greater than that of upland ecosystems, consideration of C stocks and fluxes along with associated changes resulting from management or land-use change are of particular importance at local, regional and global scales. Through new analyses of recent available data bases and literature, C stocks, net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and methane (CH4) fluxes were estimated for North American (US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico) terrestrial wetlands. North America contains approximately 2.2 million km2 of terrestrial wetlands (approximately 37% of the global wetland area) with anecosystem C pool of approximately 161 Pg (approximately 36% of global wetland C stock). Canada has the greatest area of terrestrial wetlands (52%), followed by the US (47%), Mexico (1%) and Puerto Rico. Likewise, Canada has the largest C stocks, NEE, and CH4 fluxes (80%, 51%, and 57%, respectfully) followed by the US (19%, 43%, and 39%, respectfully) and Mexico (1%, 7%, and 4%, respectfully). Forested wetlands comprise 55% of the total terrestrial wetland area, with the vast majority occurring in Canada. Organic-soil wetlands comprise 58% of the total terrestrial wetland area and contain 80% of the C stock. Overall, North American terrestrial wetlands currently are a CO2 sink (i.e., negative NEE) of approximately 126 Tg of C per year. However, North American terrestrial wetlands are a natural source of CH4, with mineral-soil wetlands emitting 56% and non-forested wetlands emitting 55% of the estimated total of 45 Tg CH4 �"C per year.

About the speaker presenting first:

Grant Domke is a research scientist and group leader for Timber Products Output and Carbon Estimation and Report in the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program within the USDA Forest Service. Domke studies how carbon is cycled through forest ecosystems and harvested wood products in the U.S. using strategic-level forest inventory data and auxiliary information. He and his team are responsible for compiling estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and removals in forests each year as part of the U.S.' commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Domke has served as a lead author on several national and international reports including the recently released Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report and the Fourth National Climate Assessment as well as the forthcoming 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. For additional information on Domke's work visit:

About the speaker presenting second:

Randy Kolka holds a B.S. degree in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and MS and PhD degrees in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota. Following the completion of his PhD in 1996, he was a post-doctoral Research Soil Scientist with the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station on the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. In 1998 he became an Assistant Professor of Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky. In 2002, he became Team Leader and Research Soil Scientist with the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station in Grand Rapids, MN. In this position, he currently leads a team of scientists, graduate students and post-docs conducting research on the cycling of water, carbon, nutrients, mercury and other pollutants at the plot to watershed scale in urban, agricultural, forested, wetland and aquatic ecosystems across the globe. He is an adjunct faculty member at 6 universities and has published over 200 scientific articles in his career.

Webinar Access:

We will use Adobe Connect. To join the session, go to, enter as "Guest", and please enter your first and last name. Users should use either IE or Edge on Windows or Safari if using a Mac. Audio will be available thru the computer only; no phone. Questions will be addressed in the chat window. This Webcast will be recorded, archived and made accessible in the near future.