NCEAS Carbon Sequestration Working Group: First Meeting

Dates: September 1- 5, 1998


Joseph Tosi

Vicente Watson

Alex Pfaff

Suzi Kerr

Tsunehiro Otsuki

Jeff Chambers

The first meeting was extremely valuable and highly productive. The primary achievements of the meeting were to familiarize the participants from different disciplines with the approaches and methodology of the others. We were able to clarify the approach needed in the sequestration-modeling component of the project both in terms of methodology and the outputs needed to contribute to the overall project. With the expertise of the very helpful computer staff at NCEAS we were able to begin setting up communication protocols among group members. By the end of the meeting we had created a coherent, cooperative and friendly team despite our cultural, language and disciplinary differences. The relaxed, smooth functioning environment at the Center and many group meals were critical to this.

Each team member (except Tsunehiro who acted as rapporteur) gave at least one presentation on some aspect of their contribution to the project. Suzi Kerr discussed the overall motivation and context for the project in terms of the international negotiations on climate change. She also discussed the essential outputs of each component and their contribution to the integrated project outcomes. Joseph Tosi gave an excellent presentation on the life zone system and patiently explained many basic ecological concepts to the economists. Jeff Chambers kindly volunteered to fill in for David Schimel who was unfortunately unable to attend but participated through a number of conference calls. He presented a useful overview of the CENTURY model that was enormously valuable for the entire group. He also contributed in an essential way to the lively debate about carbon ecology and project design that continued throughout the week.

Alex Pfaff gave a valuable presentation on the basic approach to explaining land use taken by economists. He explained the approach the economists will take and how this relates to other approaches to explaining and predicting land use change. Vicente Watson followed this with two excellent presentations on existing knowledge about land use change in Costa Rica and on Costa Rican GIS data that the group may be able to use in both the land use and integrated models.

With the basic concepts established, the rest of the time was spent in discussions on how to structure work, more detailed explanations and taking the first steps towards producing a short paper for publication. Tsunehiro helped to produce a workshop proceedings to record the useful progress we had made, and as a reference document.