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Hansis, Eberhard; Davis, Steven J. and Pongratz, Julia ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0372-3960 (2015): Relevance of methodological choices for accounting of land use change carbon fluxes. In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 29, No. 8: pp. 1230-1246

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Accounting for carbon fluxes from land use and land cover change (LULCC) generally requires choosing from multiple options of how to attribute the fluxes to regions and to LULCC activities. Applying a newly developed and spatially explicit bookkeeping model BLUE (bookkeeping of land use emissions), we quantify LULCC fluxes and attribute them to land use activities and countries by a range of different accounting methods. We present results with respect to a Kyoto Protocol-like ``commitment'' accounting period, using land use emissions of 2008-2012 as an example scenario. We assess the effect of accounting methods that vary (1) the temporal evolution of carbon stocks, (2) the state of the carbon stocks at the beginning of the period, (3) the temporal attribution of carbon fluxes during the period, and (4) treatment of LULCC fluxes that occurred prior to the beginning of the period. We show that the methodological choices result in grossly different estimates of carbon fluxes for the different attribution definitions.

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