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Fact Sheet 2011–3007

Assessing Carbon Stocks, Carbon Sequestration, and Greenhouse-Gas Fluxes in Ecosystems of the United States Under Present Conditions and Future Scenarios

By Zhiliang Zhu and Sarah Stackpoole

Cover and link to report PDF (3.44 MB)


The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) requires the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to develop a methodology and conduct an assessment of carbon storage, carbon sequestration, and greenhouse-gas (GHG) fluxes in the Nation’s ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed and published the methodology (U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5233) and has assembled an interdisciplinary team of scientists to conduct the assessment over the next three to four years, commencing in October 2010. The assessment will fulfill specific requirements of the EISA by (1) quantifying, measuring, and monitoring carbon sequestration and GHG fluxes using national datasets and science tools such as remote sensing, and biogeochemical and hydrological models, (2) evaluating a range of management and restoration activities for their effects on carbon-sequestration capacity and the reduction of GHG fluxes, and (3) assessing effects of climate change and other controlling processes (including wildland fires) on carbon uptake and GHG emissions from ecosystems.

First posted February 2011

For additional information contact:
Zhiliang Zhu
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 915A
Reston, VA 20192

Web page: /

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Zhu, Zhiliang, and Stackpoole, Sarah, 2011, Assessing carbon stocks, carbon sequestration, and greenhouse-gas fluxes in ecosystems of the United States under present conditions and future scenarios: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3007, 2 p. (Also available at

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