COLE (Carbon OnLine Estimator)


COLE uses Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data to provide basic carbon inventory and growth-and-yield estimates for a particular forest, region, or state. While COLE draws from FIA plot data, the data is aggregated at the county or national forest level, so analysis can occur at this level or higher. However, if the user is interested in learning about the baseline carbon inventory or carbon growth-and-yield on a smaller plot of land (county level or smaller) COLE can be a great launching off point for learning some basic information about carbon stored in at the county level, and help the user determine whether to conduct a more comprehensive, site-specific, field-based inventory for a particular parcel of interest.

Carbon report for user-specified location
Restrictions and Limitations: 
COLE draws from FIA data. The FIA program is considered the "nation's forest census," and reports on the status, trends, and health of forests through annual on-the-ground sampling. So, the accuracy of a COLE-generated carbon report is related to the sample size of the underlying data. This is the reason why COLE works from a county-scale on up. The more filters that a user applies, the more important it becomes to choose a larger (multiple counties, states, etc.) area over which to apply these filters. While COLE will not prevent you from generating a very specific report (e.g. an aboveground carbon stock report for overstocked, privately owned, white oak/red oak/hickory stands in Elk County, PA), the user should be aware that such a detailed report on a small scale is subject to sample-size inaccuracies.
Tool Developers: 

National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Statistics and Model Development Group,

Land Manager
Time Investment: