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Exploring the assumed invariance of implied emission factors for forest biomass in greenhouse gas inventories
Reviews of each nation's annual greenhouse gas inventory submissions including forestland are part of the ongoing reporting process of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Goals of these reviews include improving quality and consistency within and among reports. One method of facilitating comparisons is the use of a standard index such as an implied emission factor (IEF), which for forest biomass indicates net rate of carbon emission or sequestration per area. Guidance on the use of IEFs in reviews is limited, but there is an expectation that values should be relatively constant both over time and across spatial scales. To address this hypothesis, we examine IEFs over time, derived from U.S. forests at plot-, state-, and national-levels. Results show that at increasingly aggregated levels, relative heterogeneity decreases but can still be substantial.