NASA’s satellite observations provide information about many aspects of the Earth system that can be used to study its behavior. Space-based observations can help to characterize the variability inherent in the components that make up the Earth system, quantify both the human-induced and naturally-occurring forcings that affect it as well as the response of the Earth system to these forcings. They also can provide accurate measurement of the consequences of Earth system variability to life on Earth, and enable improved predictive capability for describing the Earth’s future evolution.
As climate changes, models predict an increase in temperature, drought, and fire activity for large areas of North America and Eurasia. Changes in fire regime can be expected to affect vegetation structure and composition over large areas, as well as affecting local communities. And changes in the way fire burns have the potential to dramatically affect both fire emissions and ecosystem carbon storage. The boreal forest alone contains about a third of the global terrestrial carbon stocks, so changes in fire processes in these systems are of particular concern.
The global environmental challenges society faces today are unheralded due to the pace at which human activities are affecting the earth system. The rates of energy consumption, nitrogen use and production, and water use increases each year leading to greater global environmental changes affecting warming of the earth system and loss of ecosystem services. The challenge we face today as a society is the manner and speed at which we can adapt to these changes affecting the ecosystem services we depend upon.
BEET is an analytic tool to support development, implementation and evaluation of bioenergy policies at the country level. It provides a quick turnaround capability to do “what if” and tradeoff analyses of bioenergy policy options in terms of national and energy security, economic, and agricultural and environmental goals. BEET uses data from updateable sources; and provides a consistent and auditable process for understanding the relationships between data inputs and Tool outputs.
Tropical deforestation accounts for close to twenty percent of carbon emissions today. Thus reducing deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing agroforestry is a high priority for tropical countries both for meeting international obligations and entering the carbon markets. What’s more, improving the state of forests benefits the rural poor by mitigating floods and winds, protecting watersheds, and providing biodiversity, enhanced soil fertility, and land productivity.
Climate, carbon and poverty news from around the world
Deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries significantly impacts the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Annual emissions from deforestation and degradation during the 1990s and 2000s accounted for about 20% of the total anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Although tropical deforestation and forest degradation are significant contributors to total greenhouse gas emissions, activities to reduce such emissions are not accepted for generating creditable and marketable emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.
Iliriana Mushkolaj will be discussing her work on climate change issues including her work at the Center for Clean Air Policy on the Global Sectoral Approaches as Part of the Post - 2012 Framework. This presentation will include some historical background on climate change and international agreements related to climate change as well as discussion on the on the design of the sectoral approaches and policies to reduce emissions from key energy intensive industries in China, Mexico, and Brazil.
While there is no longer significant disagreement that agriculture, forestry and other land-use (AFOLU) contribute towards at least a quarter of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and, therefore, their reduction, combined with AFOLU's emissions removal potential, require that at least a third of the mitigation wedge, anticipated for meeting UNFCCC's and President Obama's 2050 GHG stabilization target, focus on this land use sector.
Beyond this consensus, however, disagreements linger over the following four implementation priorities: