Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Stella Model to Calculate CO2 Sequestration

Editor's Note: The model that the students' produced uses Stella. If you want a copy of the model just send me an e-mail at and I will forward you one.

For the past few days Andrew and I have been working on calculating how much CO2 different species of trees absorb throughout their lifetime. Our plan at the Vermont Commons school was to use trees to absorb as much CO2 the school produces as possible. The different species of trees we looked at were: Pine, Oak and Maple. We found that Pine trees absorb the most Carbon in their lifetime, even though they do not live as long a Maple trees. From the data we collected we decided to use pine trees as our main CO2 consuming plant. Hopefully we will be able to get a deal with a tree nursery because for our project we are going to need over 1,000 trees. On a side note my and Andrew’s first idea was to use maple trees and when the trees reached the age that they could be tapped for maple syrup, make a profit for the Commons Co-op. This idea though was not quite particle as it takes decades for the age maple trees we wanted to plant to be able to produce enough sap to tap. As well as the fact that pine trees take up more carbon then maples do. We then preceded to make a Stella model with one of our head system dynamicists at the school. This model was built in order to simulate how many trees we would need for the project, as well as give us a chance to calculate some other aspects of our overall plan. Like adding additional trees, or other plants. What we will do now is use this model to map out the CO2 consumption of the trees and determine how many more to plant in the following years.

Written by Ian 8th grade


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