Chapter 10, Key Finding 1

Total grassland carbon stocks in the conterminous United States, estimated to be about 7.4 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) in 2005, are projected to increase to about 8.2 Pg C by 2050. Although U.S. grasslands are expected to remain carbon sinks over this period, the uptake rate is projected to decline by about half. In the U.S. Great Plains, land-use and land-cover changes are expected to cause much of the change in carbon cycling as grasslands are converted to agricultural lands or to woody biomes (medium confidence).