Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

The Moore Center for Science at Conservation International is one of the world’s premier conservation research institutes, producing and applying groundbreaking and policy-relevant research to help decision-makers protect nature. To date, Conservation International has published more than 1,100 peer-reviewed articles, many in leading journals including Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

On average, each of our scientific papers is cited more than 45 times by other scholars — a rate exceeding that of any other U.S. conservation organization as well as leading universities.

Here is an archive of our most recent research.

Lower cost and more feasible options to restore forest cover in the contiguous United States for climate mitigation

Susan C. Cook-Patton, Trisha Gopalakrishna, Adam Daigneault, Sara M. Leavitt, Jim Platt, Sabrina M. Scull, Oyut Amarjargal, Peter W. Ellis, Bronson W. Griscom, Jenny L. McGuire, Samantha M. Yeo, Joseph E. Fargione

One Earth, 3, 739-752

December 18, 2020

Restoring forest cover is a prominent option for climate mitigation. Effective deployment requires knowing where opportunities are and how they vary in carbon capture, costs, co-benefits, and feasibility. Here, we combined spatial, economic, and feasibility analyses to examine 10 different opportunity classes for restoration of forest cover across the contiguous United States. These include non-stocked forests, shrublands, protected areas, post-burn landscapes, pasture lands, croplands with challenging soils, urban areas, floodplains, streamsides, and biodiversity corridors. We found 51.6 Mha of total opportunity, which could capture 314.2 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to 15% of the United States' 2016 commitment to the Paris Agreement. Half of this mitigation is possible at $20 tCO2−1. However, the highest-ranked opportunity class with respect to carbon capture, costs, co-benefits, and feasibility changed depending on location. Our maps are publicly available to guide policy and implementation efforts at local, state, and national levels.

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Cook-Patton, S. C., Gopalakrishna, T., Daigneault, A., Leavitt, S. M., Platt, J., Scull, S. M., … Fargione, J. E. (2020). Lower cost and more feasible options to restore forest cover in the contiguous United States for climate mitigation. One Earth, 3(6), 739–752. doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2020.11.013