Spatial-temporal dynamics of carbon emissions and carbon sinks in economically developed areas of China: a case study of Guangdong Province.
ABSTRACT: This study analysed spatial-temporal dynamics of carbon emissions and carbon sinks in Guangdong Province, South China. The methodology was based on land use/land cover data interpreted from continuous high-resolution satellite images and energy consumption statistics, using carbon emission/sink factor method. The results indicated that: (1) From 2005 to 2013, different land use/land cover types in Guangdong experienced varying degrees of change in area, primarily the expansion of built-up land and shrinkage of forest land and grassland; (2) Total carbon emissions increased sharply, from 76.11 to 140.19 TgC yr-1 at the provincial level, with an average annual growth rate of 10.52%, while vegetation carbon sinks declined slightly, from 54.52 to 53.20 TgC yr-1. Both factors showed significant regional differences, with Pearl River Delta and North Guangdong contributing over 50% to provincial carbon emissions and carbon sinks, respectively; (3) Correlation analysis showed social-economic factors (GDP per capita and permanent resident population) have significant positive impacts on carbon emissions at the provincial and city levels; (4) The relationship between economic growth and carbon emission intensity suggests that carbon emission efficiency in Guangdong improves with economic growth. This study provides new insight for Guangdong to achieve carbon reduction goals and realize low-carbon development.
Project description:The decoupling elasticity decomposition quantitative model of energy-related carbon emission in Guangdong is established based on the extended Kaya identity and Tapio decoupling model for the first time, to explore the decoupling relationship and its internal mechanism between energy-related carbon emission and economic growth in Guangdong. Main results are as follows. (1) Total production energy-related carbon emissions in Guangdong increase from 4128 × 10⁴ tC in 1995 to 14396 × 10⁴ tC in 2011. Decoupling elasticity values of energy-related carbon emission and economic growth increase from 0.53 in 1996 to 0.85 in 2011, and its decoupling state turns from weak decoupling in 1996-2004 to expansive coupling in 2005-2011. (2) Land economic output and energy intensity are the first inhibiting factor and the first promoting factor to energy-related carbon emission decoupling from economic growth, respectively. The development speeds of land urbanization and population urbanization, especially land urbanization, play decisive roles in the change of total decoupling elasticity values. (3) Guangdong can realize decoupling of energy-related carbon emission from economic growth effectively by adjusting the energy mix and industrial structure, coordinating the development speed of land urbanization and population urbanization effectively, and strengthening the construction of carbon sink.
Project description:We investigated the millennial variability (1000 A.D.-2000 A.D.) of global biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions by using two independent numerical models: The Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN), for isoprene, monoterpene, and sesquiterpene, and Lund-Potsdam-Jena-General Ecosystem Simulator (LPJ-GUESS), for isoprene and monoterpenes. We found the millennial trends of global isoprene emissions to be mostly affected by land cover and atmospheric carbon dioxide changes, whereas monoterpene and sesquiterpene emission trends were dominated by temperature change. Isoprene emissions declined substantially in regions with large and rapid land cover change. In addition, isoprene emission sensitivity to drought proved to have significant short-term global effects. By the end of the past millennium MEGAN isoprene emissions were 634 TgC yr-1 (13% and 19% less than during 1750-1850 and 1000-1200, respectively), and LPJ-GUESS emissions were 323 TgC yr-1(15% and 20% less than during 1750-1850 and 1000-1200, respectively). Monoterpene emissions were 89 TgC yr-1(10% and 6% higher than during 1750-1850 and 1000-1200, respectively) in MEGAN, and 24 TgC yr-1 (2% higher and 5% less than during 1750-1850 and 1000-1200, respectively) in LPJ-GUESS. MEGAN sesquiterpene emissions were 36 TgC yr-1(10% and 4% higher than during 1750-1850 and 1000-1200, respectively). Although both models capture similar emission trends, the magnitude of the emissions are different. This highlights the importance of building better constraints on VOC emissions from terrestrial vegetation.
Project description:Land use change not only directly influences carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems but can also cause energy-related carbon emissions. This study examined spatiotemporal land use change across Jiangsu Province, China; calculated vegetation carbon storage loss caused by land use change and energy-related carbon emissions; analysed the relationship among land use change, carbon emissions and social-economic development; and optimized land use structure to maximize carbon storage. Our study found that 13.61% of the province's land area underwent a change in type of land use between 1995 and 2010, mainly presented as built-up land expansion and cropland shrinkage, especially in southern Jiangsu. Land use change caused a 353.99?×?10<sup>4</sup> t loss of vegetation carbon storage loss. Energy-related carbon emissions increased 2.5 times from 1995 to 2013; the energy consumption structure has been improved to some extent while still relying on coal. The selected social-economic driving forces have strong relationships with carbon emissions and land use changes, while there are also other determinants driving land use change, such as land use policy. The optimized land use structure will slow the rate of decline in vegetation carbon storage compared with the period between 1995 and 2010 and will also reduce energy-related carbon emissions by 12%.
Project description:Land use planning usually increases the uncertainties of the ecosystem structures and functions because various human demands usually bring both positive and negative ecological effects. It is critical for estimating various land use changes and their ecological effects, but the previous studies have failed to decouple the respective and the combined effects of different land use changes on ecosystem services. Net primary productivity (NPP) could be used to indicate many ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage. Here, we employed a light use efficiency model to estimate the spatial and temporal dynamics of NPP in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) area from 2000 to 2015, and designed four scenarios to analyze the relative roles of afforestation, urbanization and storing water on NPP dynamics. Our results documented that terrestrial NPP of the TGR area increased from 547.40 gC•m-2 to 629.96 gC•m-2, and carbon sequestration capacities were 31.66 TgC (1Tg = 1012g) and 36.79 TgC in 2000 and 2015, respectively. Climate change and land use change both could contribute to carbon sequestration with 4.08 TgC and 1.05 TgC. Among these land use changes, only afforestation could sequester carbon with 2.04 TgC, while urbanization-induced and impoundment-induced emissions were 0.12 TgC and 0.32 TgC, respectively, and other land use changes also could release 0.55 TgC of carbon. This finding suggested that although positive and negative environmental effects happened simultaneously over the past decades, green infrastructure could effectively offset the carbon emissions from urbanization and storing water in the TGR area, which provides some fundamental supports for further ecological restoration and contributes to empowering land use policies towards carbon sequestration and storage at the regional scale.
Project description:As the Earth warms, carbon sinks on land and in the ocean will weaken, thereby increasing the rate of warming. Although natural mechanisms contributing to this positive climate-carbon feedback have been evaluated using Earth system models, analogous feedbacks involving human activities have not been systematically quantified. Here we conceptualize and estimate the magnitude of several economic mechanisms that generate a carbon-climate feedback, using the Kaya identity to separate a net economic feedback into components associated with population, GDP, heating and cooling, and the carbon intensity of energy production and transportation. We find that climate-driven decreases in economic activity (GDP) may in turn decrease human energy use and thus fossil fuel CO2 emissions. In a high radiative forcing scenario, such decreases in economic activity reduce fossil fuel emissions by 13% this century, lowering atmospheric CO2 by over 100 ppm in 2100. The natural carbon-climate feedback, in contrast, increases atmospheric CO2 over this period by a similar amount, and thus, the net effect including both feedbacks is nearly zero. Our work highlights the importance of improving the representation of climate-economic feedbacks in scenarios of future change. Although the effects of climate warming on the economy may offset weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, a loss of economic productivity will have high societal costs, potentially increasing wealth inequity and limiting resources available for effective adaptation.
Project description:The global urbanization rate is accelerating; however, data limitations have far prevented robust estimations of either global urban expansion or its effects on terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP). Here, using a high resolution dataset of global land use/cover (GlobeLand30), we show that global urban areas expanded by an average of 5694?km<sup>2</sup> per year between 2000 and 2010. The rapid urban expansion in the past decade has in turn reduced global terrestrial NPP, with a net loss of 22.4 Tg Carbon per year (Tg C year<sup>-1</sup>). Although small compared to total terrestrial NPP and fossil fuel carbon emissions worldwide, the urbanization-induced decrease in NPP offset 30% of the climate-driven increase (73.6 Tg C year<sup>-1</sup>) over the same period. Our findings highlight the urgent need for global strategies to address urban expansion, enhance natural carbon sinks, and increase agricultural productivity.
Project description:Emissions embodied in provincial trade (EEPT) have important effects on provinces' responsibilities for carbon emission reductions. Based on a multi-regional input-output model, we calculated EEPT for China's 30 provinces in 2002, 2007 and 2010, and we attempted to determine the drivers of EEPT. The results showed that, during this period, the ratio of EEPT to production-based emissions increased over time, reaching 40.24% in 2010. In consideration of its important role in carbon emissions, we analyzed the factors attributable to EEPT through structure decomposition analysis. The decomposition results showed that final demand and carbon emission intensity were two major factors in EEPT, while the final demand in other provinces and the carbon emission intensity in the local province were major factors for Emissions embodied in provincial exports and the final demand in the local province and the carbon emission intensity in other provinces were major factors for Emissions embodied in provincial imports. Regarding the differences among the EEPT of different provinces, changes in the structure of trade were the primary reason.
Project description:China has experienced enormous changes in land use in recent decades, which are largely driven by its unparalleled economic development. We analyze changes in vegetation and soil carbon storage between 1990 and 2010 resulting from combinations of land-use category conversion and management. Results demonstrate a major decline in grasslands (-6.85%; 20.83 × 10(6) ha) and large increases in urban areas (+43.73%; 6.87 × 10(6) ha), farmlands (+0.84%; 1.48 × 10(6) ha), and forests (+0.67%; 1.52 × 10(6) ha). The total soil organic carbon pool has been reduced by approximately 11.5 Tg of carbon (TgC) year(-1), whereas 13.2 TgC year(-1) has accumulated in the biomass carbon pool because of land-use category change. Large carbon losses (approximately 101.8 TgC year(-1)) have resulted from land management failures, including forest fires and insect pests. Overall land-use change and land management have contributed about 1.45 Pg of carbon to the total carbon released from 1990 to 2010. Our results highlight the importance of improving land-use management, especially in view of the recently proposed expansion of urban areas in China.
Project description:Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) could face food shortages in the future because of its growing population. Agricultural expansion causes forest degradation in SSA through livestock grazing, reducing forest carbon (C) sinks and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, intensification should produce more food while reducing pressure on forests. This study assessed the potential for the dairy sector in Kenya to contribute to low-emissions development by exploring three feeding scenarios. The analyses used empirical spatially explicit data, and a simulation model to quantify milk production, agricultural emissions and forest C loss due to grazing. The scenarios explored improvements in forage quality (Fo), feed conservation (Fe) and concentrate supplementation (Co): FoCo fed high-quality Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), FeCo supplemented maize silage and FoFeCo a combination of Napier, silage and concentrates. Land shortages and forest C loss due to grazing were quantified with land requirements and feed availability around forests. All scenarios increased milk yields by 44%-51%, FoCo reduced GHG emission intensity from 2.4 ± 0.1 to 1.6 ± 0.1 kg CO2 eq per kg milk, FeCo reduced it to 2.2 ± 0.1, whereas FoFeCo increased it to 2.7 ± 0.2 kg CO2 eq per kg milk because of land use change emissions. Closing the yield gap of maize by increasing N fertilizer use reduced emission intensities by 17% due to reduced emissions from conversion of grazing land. FoCo was the only scenario that mitigated agricultural and forest emissions by reducing emission intensity by 33% and overall emissions by 2.5% showing that intensification of dairy in a low-income country can increase milk yields without increasing emissions. There are, however, risks of C leakage if agricultural and forest policies are not aligned leading to loss of forest to produce concentrates. This approach will aid the assessment of the climate-smartness of livestock production practices at the national level in East Africa.
Project description:One-third of net CO(2) emissions to the atmosphere since 1850 are the result of land-use change, primarily from the clearing of forests for timber and agriculture, but quantifying these changes is complicated by the lack of historical data on both former ecosystem conditions and the extent and spatial configuration of subsequent land use. Using fine-resolution historical survey records, we reconstruct pre-EuroAmerican settlement (1850s) forest carbon in the state of Wisconsin, examine changes in carbon after logging and agricultural conversion, and assess the potential for future sequestration through forest recovery. Results suggest that total above-ground live forest carbon (AGC) fell from 434 TgC before settlement to 120 TgC at the peak of agricultural clearing in the 1930s and has since recovered to approximately 276 TgC. The spatial distribution of AGC, however, has shifted significantly. Former savanna ecosystems in the south now store more AGC because of fire suppression and forest ingrowth, despite the fact that most of the region remains in agriculture, whereas northern forests still store much less carbon than before settlement. Across the state, continued sequestration in existing forests has the potential to contribute an additional 69 TgC. Reforestation of agricultural lands, in particular, the formerly high C-density forests in the north-central region that are now agricultural lands less optimal than those in the south, could contribute 150 TgC. Restoring historical carbon stocks across the landscape will therefore require reassessing overall land-use choices, but a range of options can be ranked and considered under changing needs for ecosystem services.