Estimating Forest Carbon Storage in the City

Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 11:30am

Estimating Forest Carbon Storage in the City

Forests play an important role in mitigating many of the negative effects of climate change. One of the ways forests mitigate impacts of climate change is by absorbing carbon dioxide and storing the majority of the carbon in their wood and soils. Yet estimates of forest carbon storage in cities vary widely because they are strongly dependent on conceptions of what “urban forest” is. In this talk I explore the consequences of the different definitions and hence measurement of urban forest, using New York City as a case study. The results show that trees in forested areas of New York City account for the majority of carbon stored despite being a minority of the tree canopy. They suggest that urban forested areas should be at the center of urban greening policies looking to mitigate the climate footprint of cities.

Dr. Mark A. Bradford - Professor of Soils and Ecosystem Ecology, Yale School of the Environment and The Forest School

Mark A. Bradford is Professor of Soils and Ecosystem Ecology at the Yale School of the Environment and The Forest School. His group’s research investigates how soil microbes and their interactions with plants govern carbon cycle responses to global change and ecosystem management. Their current work spans questions that address uncertainties in Earth system feedbacks to quantifying soil and forest health. He is particularly interested in how organisms and their interactions affect decomposition processes and soil carbon. He is author of over 180 academic papers and is an ISI highly-cited author in the field of Environment and Ecology.

Bradford connects to policy and practice through collaborations with NGOs and other agencies to produce and synthesize evidence that helps inform the management of soils to restore and protect soil carbon and hence soil and food security; and to inform the management of forests for native species and greenhouse gas mitigation. He teaches soil science and ecosystem science, with application to developing and managing ecosystem budgets. He holds a BSc and PhD in Biological Sciences from Exeter University (UK), did his graduate work at the then UK government Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, postdoctoral research at Imperial College, London and Duke University, and joined the faculty at the University of Georgia, Athens in 2005. He moved to Yale in 2009.