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A future with or without trees
Date:7/27/2010

CO2-e for the governance scenario, vs. 15.8 Pg CO2-e for the business-as-usual scenario, where Pg are Petagrams and CO2-e means carbon dioxide equivalents).

While previous models for future greenhouse emissions in the area have focused only on emissions resulting from deforestation, this is the first to also incorporate post-clearing land management by considering whether cleared land is used for crops or pasture. According to the study, the choice between crops and pasture can be significant for certain regions, but has little global effect.

Greenhouse gas emissions are of great concern in the Brazilian Amazon region. "This is one of the most dynamic places of changing land cover on the planet," says John Mustard, a co-author of the study and Galford's co-advisor in the Brown-MBL joint graduate program, along with Jerry Melillo of the MBL Ecosystems Center. "How does this affect carbon emissions now, and what does the future hold? Through observation and modeling we are now able to bring a strong focus to these questions," Mustard says.

Galford says that the strategies used in this study could be used in other tropical regions to predict the results of land-use changes. "With this type of exercise you could analyze a few different scenarios to determine what the consequences for your greenhouse gas emissions would be," she says.


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Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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