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About the Author: Sarah Goldfarb serves as DipNote's Associate Editor. Sarah will be providing information from presentations about key climate programs and scientific research at the U.S. Center at the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-16) in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29 through December 10, 2010.
For the final presentation at the U.S. Center on December 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), and the Mexican Carbon Program (PMC) to describe the North American Carbon Program (NACP).
CarboNA, formerly the Joint North American Carbon Program, is a joint government-level initiative among Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and NACP is the U.S. contribution to CarboNA. Nancy Cavallaro of USDA said the central objective of the North American Carbon Program is to measure and understand the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide in North America, as well as in adjacent ocean regions. She explained that the program researches North American carbon stocks and fluxes that can be used for decision support to manage for increased carbon sequestration, and the program is carried out in an attempt to preserve ecosystem services and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, 285 projects have been registered with the NACP.
Cavallaro explained that CarboNA attempts to discover the following: the current carbon budget of North American land, water, and adjacent oceans; the past and projected trends in the North American carbon projects, as well as the factors that are expected to be important in the future; and the response of terrestrial ecosystems and coastal oceans to climate change and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Cavallaro said, "Our ability to assess carbon stocks in North America has improved greatly." In closing, she stressed that NACP's results will contribute to an integrated and well-tested system for understanding, monitoring, and predicting carbon fluxes over North America and the adjacent coastal ocean. Ultimately, the program provides timely and useful information to scientists, agencies, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the carbon cycle and climate change.
You can find more information about NACP here.
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