A well-thought measurement setup as well as standardised procedures are essential for a meaningful and robust monitoring and the comparability of the observations at the same site and in inter-site comparisons. Depending on the mitigation project objectives and scale different combination of methodologies could be used including forest carbon inventories, chamber measurements, tower-based eddy covariance flux measurements, large-scale atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements, aircraft and satellite remote sensing.
In addition to GHGs, forests have other important climate effects. They change surface albedo (warming effect), are source of volatile organic compounds (VOC), have effect on aerosol particle formation and growth, increases amount of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), and has effect on cloud formation as well as on the precipitation. Moreover, any modification of the carbon cycle by removing or increasing CO2-binding vegetation has impact on the complex climate - carbon cycle feedback. We define these additional cooling effects as CarbonSink+. Accounting all these effects, this CarbonSink+ may increase the climate cooling impact of forests compared with pure carbon sink effect.
Land use based mitigation plays an important role in current Nationally Determined Contributions of Paris Agreement. Scientific findings indicate that through different actions land sector could provide up to 1/3 of the needed total mitigation through year 2030. However, permanence of ecosystem based carbon storages is still a challenge and trade-offs between different land use form exist and should be properly acknowledged in the mitigation projects.
We define in this report a cost effective, i.e. as simple as possible but good enough, measurement setup to verify both ordinary carbon sink and CarbonSink+ -effect. The methodology is planned for commercial applications, rather than for scientific purposes. The estimated prices of the instrumentation are based on present-day situation. In the conclusions of the report, we also describe first level principles and challenges which could help to formulate protocols for larger framework needed for the global commercial carbon market
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