From Kansas State University's:

Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS)


Charles W. Rice, K-State Department of Agronomy, National CASMGS Director

(785) 532-7217

Scott Staggenborg, K-State Department of Agronomy (785) 532-7214

Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications (785) 532-7105



May 17, 2007

No. 56



* New Guide to Greenhouse Gas Offsets Released by Duke University and Environmental Defense

* Thirty-One States Join to Create U.S. Climate Registry

* Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada



* IPCC: We have the means to fight climate change



* The GEFSOC Soil Carbon Modeling System






New Guide To Greenhouse Gas Offsets

Released By Duke University and Environmental Defense



A new “how-to” manual for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions through land-use sequestration in farmlands and forests, and turning those reductions into verifiable credits for trading in carbon markets, is about to be released.


Duke University Press will publish Harnessing Farms and Forests in the Low-Carbon Economy: How to Create and Verify Greenhouse Gas Offsets, a technical guide for farmers, foresters, traders and investors, in June. A preview of the guide is available online at


Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions developed the guide in collaboration with the nonprofit advocacy group Environmental Defense, and scientists from Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, Colorado State University, Rice University, Princeton University, and Brown University, as well as other experts.


The guide explains how farmers and foresters can convert their land’s carbon dioxide storage capacity into revenue-generating “offsets” that can be bought and sold in future carbon markets. Providing recommendations for specific land-use practices and formulas for calculating sequestered carbon, the book provides technical information needed by quantifiers, verifiers, and traders of the offset credits. One section of the guide also provides specific financial information for traders and investors.


Despite the absence of a mandatory nationwide cap on greenhouse gas emissions, a U.S. market for carbon offsets is already burgeoning.  Many companies have formed to buy and sell offsets, and other companies have emerged to verify and register those offsets. Lawmakers considering national legislation have expressed interest in offsets and concern about how they’ll work.


-- Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications






Thirty-One States Join to Create

U.S. Climate Registry  


Thirty-one states, representing over 70 percent of the U.S. population, have banded together to create a Climate Registry, marking the largest national effort to take action on climate change.

The participating states see the creation of the Climate Registry, which is based on voluntary reporting of statewide emissions, as a necessary first step toward developing mandatory, federal regulations on global warming-causing emissions.

California has already taken the lead on reducing carbon emissions -- the state has legislated a mandatory 25 percent reduction by 2020 -- and other states in the Registry have begun working on ways to lower their emissions as well. The Hawaii state legislature recently passed a bill similar to California's, and Washington state and the states that make up the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have started to reduce the emissions caused by power plants in their states.

The list of founding member states and tribes thus far includes the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Campo Kumeyaay Nation. Two Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Manitoba, have also committed to participate.

The Registry is a tool to measure, track, verify and publicly report GHG emissions accurately, transparently and consistently across borders and industry sectors. The Registry's proponents say it is a critical first step in developing robust programs to reduce GHG emissions.


-- GreenBiz, May 9, 2007






Carbon Sequestration Atlas

of the United States and Canada


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released the first “Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada.” This Atlas presents the first coordinated assessment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) potential across the majority of the US and portions of western Canada. The Atlas also provides an introduction to the carbon storage (sequestration) process, summarizes the DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Program, and gives information about the CCS contributions from each Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) to date.


To download the Atlas or sections of the Atlas see:






IPCC: We have the means

to fight climate change


The world has the technological and financial means to fight climate change, but must act now to make a difference. This is the conclusion of the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), launched in Bangkok, Thailand on May 4, 2007.


The report proposes multiple strategies to prevent the potentially catastrophic consequences of climate change at a reasonable cost. The report states that greenhouse gas emissions must start declining by 2015 if the increase in global average temperature is to be capped at 2–2.4 degrees Celsius.


It says stable emission levels of 445–535 parts per million (ppm) can be achieved with just a three percent reduction in global gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 25 years, or less than 0.12 per cent annually. In the long term, 2050 onward, stabilizing emissions between 445–710 ppm would require a reduction of 5.5 per cent in the world's GDP.


"We are talking about the reduction of the world's GDP, but there will be benefits [in addition to climate change mitigation] such as health benefits from reducing air pollution, improvement of energy security," said Bert Metz, co-chairman of the IPCC's Mitigation Working Group, who produced the report.


The report recommends several measures, such as switching to renewable energy and biofuels, taxing fossil fuels, incentives for improving the energy efficiency of transportation, buildings and industry, as well as changes to agricultural and forestry practices.


The report is the third released by the IPCC this year. A fourth is due in November.


-- SciDev.Net, May 4, 2007






The GEFSOC soil carbon

modeling system


The GEFSOC soil carbon modeling system was built to provide interdisciplinary teams of scientists, natural resource managers and policy analysts (who have the appropriate computing skills) with the necessary tools to conduct regional-scale soil carbon (C) inventories. It allows users to assess the effects of land use change on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, soil fertility and the potential for soil carbon sequestration.


The tool was developed in conjunction with case-studies of land use and management impacts on SOC in Brazil, Jordan, Kenya, and India, which represent a diversity of land use and land management patterns and are countries where sustaining soil organic matter and fertility for food security is an ongoing problem. The tool was designed to run using two common desktop computers, connected via a local area network. It utilizes open-source software that is freely available. All new software and user interfaces developed for the tool are available in an open source environment allowing users to examine system details, suggest improvements or write additional modules to interface with the system.


The tool incorporates three widely used models for estimating soil carbon dynamics: (1) the Century ecosystem model; (2) the RothC soil carbon decomposition model; and (3) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) method for assessing soil C at regional scales. The tool interacts with a Soil and Terrain Digital Database (SOTER) built for the specific country or region the user intends to model. A demonstration of the tool and results from an assessment of land use change in a sample region of North America are presented.


M. Easter, K. Paustian, K. Killian, S. Williams, T. Feng, R. Al-Adamat, N.H. Batjes, M. Bernoux, T. Bhattacharyya, C.C. Cerri, C.E.P. Cerri, K. Coleman, P. Falloon, C. Feller, P. Gicheru, P. Kamoni, E. Milne, D.K. Pal, D.S. Powlson, Z. Rawajfih, M. Sessay and S. Wokabi, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Available online, doi:10.1016/j.agee.2007.01.004 ,









May 21-23, 2007

Carbon Finance and Investment Summit

New York, NY

More details at:






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