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CASMOFOR

version 5.0

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CASMOFOR: CArbon Sequestration MOdel for FORestations
- an accounting model to assess
the removals and emissions of carbon by afforestations

developed by Zoltán Somogyi, 2002-2014.
Hungarian Forest Research Institute, Budapest

NOTE: each model is only as good as the person using it

NOTE: use screen resolution of 1280*1024 or higher to run CASMOFOR!


CASMOFOR stands for CArbon Sequestration MOdel for FORestations. It models the carbon balance of forests based on IPCC methodology (more specifically, Volumes 4 and 1 of the IPCC 2006 Guidelines and the IPCC 2013 KP Supplement). It is a transparent modeling framework that could be used in any country where appropriate data is available to model basic forest processes like tree growth and decomposition, as well as to model forest management. The model is fully parametrizable within the framework of data handling and processing, which are quite flexible. CASMOFOR also has a user-friendly interface to calibrate the model to standard forestry situations, and can easily be adapted to other countries' needs. CASMOFOR is a free to download and use.

CASMOFOR was originally built to enable one to assess how much carbon is sequestered in afforestations over time, but it is also possible to use it to model forests and plantations. (I firstly used it to model the forests of my home country, Hungary, under the Hungarian site conditions.) Afforestations may be very useful and cheap means of mitigating climate change. Given that large potentials for afforestations and reforestations are predicted (for Hungary, see some detailes here), it seemed paramount to develop a model that, due to its rich country specific information base, can better be used to accurately estimate carbon sequestration than any other model that was, and is, currently available internationally. Such a model is in general necessary as it takes informed decisions to launch large-scale programs, and to see the costs and benefits. CASMOFOR was designed to help decision makers by allowing one to analyse many issues related to afforestations. Please refer to the Analysing results section that demonstrates what types of questions can be easily answered by running CASMOFOR.

CASMOFOR was developed as a reaction to climate change, and to join efforts on mitigating the adverse effects of this human-induced phenomenon. One of the many means of mitigation is afforesting or reforesting large fields. To know how much it helps, one needs information on the carbon fixation capacity of forestry systems - this information can be obtained from and by CASMOFOR.

CASMOFOR is a non-spatial model that was developed as an MS Excel based system of spreadsheets together with MS Visual Basic macros. The model uses yield table data, wood density and biomass expansion information, many data and information on how stands are managed, as well as some 20 other constants, factors and other data that are, or are not, species and site specific. Many of the data that are included in the default database are country-specific; however, they can be replaced by local data or IPCC default values.

CASMOFOR comes with a substantial help system. The text is written in two languages: English and Hungarian. A considerable effort was made to document the whole model, and to provide the user with some information on the accuracy of estimates so that the functioning of the model and its results are as transparent as possible. The knowledge base of the model is easy to reviewed. The help system also contains a lot of useful documents and links that can be used by the user to obtain much relevant information related to climate change, mitigation, and modeling the C-cycle of forests.

CASMOFOR produces graphs and data. The graphs are MS Excel graphs that can be copied to other applications and modified using all of the flexibility that is offered by MS Excel according to needs.

CASMOFOR was compared with many other models and was found to be the best choice among the studied models: „CASMOFOR predicted with higher accuracy the carbon … than [other] … models…. This is largely because the model meets all five of the characteristics of modifiability, reliability, efficiency, integrity and usability (McCall et al., 1977 cited by Ortega& Rojas, 2003) which are important in the success of any software or model.” (Ndalowa, D. 2014. Evaluation of carbon accounting models for plantation forestry in South Africa, found at http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86247.)

The list of most publications and presentations on the model and its use can be found here.

The issue of carbon cycle is linked in a broader sense to the one of sustainability. See my another model of mine, SUFOR, which is a simple model of sustainable or unsustainable wood use in a related site here.


When developing CASMOFOR...

version 1 (2002) version 2 (2006) version 3 (2008)
version 4 (2010) version 5 (2014)  
   


This webpage was last modified by Zoltan Somogyi 29 June 2014.

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