High output values in carbon model


I’m using InVEST 3.9.1 to run the carbon storage and sequestration model. I’ve been able to compare the results to other analyses of carbon storage of similar areas, but have found that the carbon storage values from the models I’ve run are quite high (in some cases, about 7 times higher than other reported carbon storage amounts).

For reference, I used average carbon biomass values from global datasets from European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative (2021) for above-ground biomass, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (2020) for below-ground biomass and International Soil Reference and Information Centre (2017) for soil carbon.

Any feedback or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Hi @graemesmith -

The InVEST Carbon model is very simple, all it does is add up the 4 carbon pools that you provide for each land cover class, based on the area of each pixel in your land cover map. So if the model outputs are very high, it’s likely due to the carbon pool values being very high. I’m not sure what to say about this, other than double-check the units that your source data uses, and perhaps look for different data sources if you’re not confident that these are accurate.

The main other confusion that happens is because the model outputs values in tonnes per pixel, not tonnes per hectare. Which makes me wonder which model output you’re comparing with other studies. Make sure they’re both in the same units, and make sure that your land use raster has linear units of meters, not degrees.

~ Stacie