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.
Mapping the irrecoverable carbon in Earth’s ecosystems
Monica L. Noon, Allie Goldstein, Juan Carlos Ledezma, Patrick R. Roehrdanz, Susan C. Cook-Patton, Seth A. Spawn-Lee, Timothy Maxwell Wright, Mariano Gonzalez-Roglich, David G. Hole, Johan Rockström & Will R. Turner
November 18, 2021
Avoiding catastrophic climate change requires rapid decarbonization and improved ecosystem stewardship at a planetary scale. The carbon released through the burning of fossil fuels would take millennia to regenerate on Earth. Though the timeframe of carbon recovery for ecosystems such as peatlands, mangroves and old-growth forests is shorter (centuries), this timeframe still exceeds the time we have remaining to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. There are some natural places that we cannot afford to lose due to their irreplaceable carbon reserves. Here we map ‘irrecoverable carbon’ globally to identify ecosystem carbon that remains within human purview to manage and, if lost, could not be recovered by mid-century, by when we need to reach net-zero emissions to avoid the worst climate impacts. Since 2010, agriculture, logging and wildfire have caused emissions of at least 4.0 Gt of irrecoverable carbon. The world’s remaining 139.1 ± 443.6 Gt of irrecoverable carbon faces risks from land-use conversion and climate change. These risks can be reduced through proactive protection and adaptive management. Currently, 23.0% of irrecoverable carbon is within protected areas and 33.6% is managed by Indigenous peoples and local communities. Half of Earth’s irrecoverable carbon is concentrated on just 3.3% of its land, highlighting opportunities for targeted efforts to increase global climate security.Read More
Noon, M.L., Goldstein, A., Ledezma, J.C. et al. Mapping the irrecoverable carbon in Earth’s ecosystems. Nat Sustain (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00803-6