The potential greenhouse gas benefits of displacing fossil energy with biofuels are driving policy development in the absence of complete information. SIG identified and prioritized attributes of bioenergy greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions analysis that are most influential on length of carbon payback period. We investigated outcomes of 59 previously published forest biomass greenhouse gas emissions research studies published between 1991 and 2014. Using classification and regression tree analysis, we identified those attributes that are strong predictors of carbon payback period (e.g. the time required by the forest to recover through sequestration the carbon dioxide from biomass combusted for energy).