Modeling Land-Use Change
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Tropical land-use change is generally considered to be the greatest net contributor of CO2 to the atmosphere after fossil-fuel burning. However, early estimates of the magnitude of this contribution varied widely. One reason for this variation is that terrestrial ecosystems can be both a source and a sink of carbon: the net carbon flux caused by land-use change is principally into the atmosphere, but recovering vegetation can then take up a significant portion of the CO2 released.
To more closely estimate the connections between atmospheric CO2 and deforestation and other land-use changes, Charles A. S. Hall, Hanqin Tian, Ye Qi, Gil Pontius, Joseph Cornell, and James Uhlig of the State University of New York at Syracuse developed two spatially explicit models to simulate rates and patterns of tropical land-use change. GEOMOD1 was based on intuitive assumptions about how people develop land over time, and GEOMOD2 was based on a statistical analysis of how people have, in fact, used land.
The problem of modeling land-use change is not straightforward. People may choose to develop many types of lands in the tropics, and their priority in choosing each type varies with its availability and its suitability for people's needs. Elevation, topography, adjacency to developed land, and proximity to transportation networks and major human settlements appear to be the most important factors that determine the local rates and regional patterns of land development.
With these factors in mind, a series of algorithms was developed to represent (1) the tendency to develop ("nibble away at") land next to land that was already developed; (2) the jumping over of relatively unfavorable locations; and (3) the patterns and rates of land-use change caused by population density, economy, and political factors. With these algorithms, GEOMOD1 mimics how these factors affect the land-use change process, and it develops spatial and temporal patterns of realistic land-use change. GEOMOD2, on the other hand, extends historically observed, detailed patterns of land-use change to the current and future use of land resources.
Both GEOMOD1 and GEOMOD2 were used to simulate the land-use change of Southeast Asia from 1880 to 1980, and the results were validated with historical data. Dividing the land areas into cells, Hall and his coworkers simulated the land-use change country by country and subregion by subregion. They also used GEOMOD2 to simulate the spatial pattern of land-use change in sub-Saharan tropical Africa from 1880 to 2080. A coarse-scale dataset was used to initialize the simulation of land-use change in Africa.
They found that climate factors, such as precipitation and cloud cover, are highly correlated with the pattern of land-use change. However, topography is less important, perhaps because Africa is relatively flat, but more realistically because of the poor resolution of the data.
This phenomenon led them to another important research topic: the role of spatial scale in both determining forcing drivers (and hence land-use types) and predicting accuracy. They used more-detailed data for Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to examine the sensitivity of land-use change to scale variation and other parameters. A preliminary study shows that the drivers of land-use change are scale-dependent. That is, the topographic features are more important than climate variables where finer resolution data is available and that climate variables are more important than topographic features at coarser resolutions. They also found that predicting multiple land-use types under a coarse resolution is very difficult. To simulate multiple land-use types, a detailed spatial resolution is required.
Both models developed land in what appeared to be a logical manner consistent with current understanding of patterns of land-use change. When compared with maps of the actual distribution of land-use change, GEOMOD was capable of predicting forested versus nonforested areas with what was considered rather good accuracy. The major findings of the study were:
|This article comes from a recent issue in the DOE Research Summary Series published by CDIAC: Spatially Explicit Models of Land-Use Change and Their Application to the Tropics, DOE Research Summary No. 31, February 1995 by Charles A. S. Hall, Hanqin Tian, Ye Qi, Gil Pontius, Joseph Cornell, and James Uhlig of the State University of New York at Syracuse.|
This past year has been a time of change for CDIAC. Tom Gross, as DOE program manager with responsibility for CDIAC, had nurtured the information center since its infancy in the early 1980s. Tom recently took a well-deserved retirement and is sailing the seas, searching for the elusive "missing sink" of carbon. CDIAC's new DOE program manager is Bobbi Parra, who comes to the DOE Environmental Sciences Division from the agency's Controller's Office. We wish both Tom and Bobbi the best of luck in their new positions!
Within CDIAC, we have experienced several personnel changes, as well. Tom Boden is now CDIAC's Deputy Director (he will also continue as the Director of the World Data Center-A for Atmospheric Trace Gases and the head of Data Systems for CDIAC). The position of Deputy Director had been vacant for the past several years.
Bob Sepanski, who worked on numeric data packages primarily in the areas of greenhouse-gas measurements and the response of vegetation to elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, will be staying in Oak Ridge but working in the area of local environmental restoration. Russ Vose took a position in the State Climatologist's office at Arizona State University; nevertheless, he'll be continuing the development of Version 2 of the the Global Historical Climatology Network, which is scheduled for release later this year. Laura Morris, who had assisted in the data preparation for CDIAC NDPs and for filling user requests for data, moved to the ARM Archive, also here at ORNL. Tammy Beaty, who most recently was involved in the publication of the Global Coastal Hazards Data Base series, has become the Geographic Information Systems Coordinator of ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division. Don Lue, who assisted in the maintenance of CDIAC's personal computer system, and Fred Stoss, CDIAC's Communications and Networking Coordinator, are returning to the University of Tennessee's Energy, Environment and Resources Center. And Penny Sullenberger left CDIAC for another secretarial position in the area. We will miss them all.
CDIAC's Information Systems group has now become the User Services group, led by Sonja Jones. Debbie Shepherd (in addition to working with the data analysts) will prepare our numeric data for transmission in response to user requests. And Tim Stamm will see that all of the reports and digital media are shipped to requestors as quickly as possible. These changes formalize our commitment to provide the best possible data and technical assistance to our ten-thousand-plus users.
Bob Cushman, Director
It was an honor to be chosen to succeed Dr. Paul Kanciruk as the Director of the World Data Center-A for Atmospheric Trace Gases (WDC-A). I eagerly accepted the invitation to become the Center's second director. I heartily endorse the data principles and philosophies promoted by the WDC system and am excited by the opportunities the position affords me; CDIAC; and most importantly the researchers, students, and policymakers that use our data center. I applaud Paul's efforts to pursue the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center's selection as a World Data Center within the International Council of Scientific Union (ICSU) network. I will attempt to draw on Paul's experience in my efforts to make the WDC-A a viable, proactive, and respected data center.
It will be a pleasure for me to interact with fellow WDC-A directors. I have the utmost respect for all of them. They are an elite collection of men and women who are well respected in their disciplines and extremely well versed on the data issues affecting their data centers. I intend to draw on their experience in constantly improving the WDC-A.
I am anxious to meet the directors from outside the United States and to learn about their data activities and concerns. In October 1995, all the World Data Center directors will meet for the first time in Wageningen, The Netherlands. If the World Data Center System is to continue to flourish in the future, I believe this type of interaction is essential. The survival of the national and world data centers depends on our abilities and willingness to adapt to new scientific needs, accept and use new technologies to better serve the needs of our users, and foster collaboration among data centers. I applaud Dr. Ferris Webster, current Chairman of the ICSU Panel on World Data Centres, and Anne Linn, from the National Research Council's WDC-A Coordination Office, for their efforts in convening this meeting.
I intend to shape the World Data Center-A for Atmospheric Trace Gases much like CDIAC, with emphasis on long-term data archival, quality-assurance, documentation, and distribution issues. In case you are wondering, I have not relinquished my data role in CDIAC. I still cherish the opportunity to immerse myself in data and interact with scientists conducting global change research. I enjoy the working relationship I have with the director of CDIAC, Bob Cushman, and respect his leadership, particularly now during these difficult funding times. I love the family here at CDIAC, many of whom I've worked with since the mid-1980s. I believe my roles in CDIAC and as Director of the WDC-A complement each other nicely. I will wear whatever hat fits for the betterment of the WDC-A, CDIAC, and you.
The global total of CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel burning and cement manufacture in 1992 has been estimated at 6097 million metric tons of carbon. This is essentially identical to the estimate for 1990 (6099 million tons of carbon) and down slightly from the estimate for 1991 (6172 million tons of carbon). The 1991 value was inflated by 130 million tons of carbon emitted from oil-field fires during the war in Kuwait. The global total of CO2 emissions in 1980 is estimated at 5290 million tons of carbon.
Although the global total of CO2 emissions was essentially unchanged from 1990 to 1992, seven of nine geographic regions saw increases. Increases in other areas were balanced by continuing declines in emissions from Eastern Europe (including all of the former members of the USSR). Emissions from Eastern Europe declined 8.0% from 1990 to 1992 and are now at 1148 million tons of carbon, 17.8% below the peak of 1396 million tons of carbon reached in 1988. Emissions from Western Europe (including Germany) declined by 0.3% during the past 2 years (883 million tons of carbon in 1992), and all other regions experienced increases.
Emissions from North America (the U.S. and Canada) reached 1444 million tons of carbon in 1992, 15.9% higher than the minimum recorded in 1982 (following a period of rapidly rising oil prices) but only marginally higher than the 1979 value (1421) and below the 1989 peak at 1466 million tons of carbon.
The rapid growth in economic activity throughout much of Asia is reflected in the rapid growth in CO2 emissions as well. From 1990 to 1992, CO2 emissions increased by more than 15% in the Far East (South and Southeast Asia) and by nearly 10% in the centrally planned economies of Asia.
Global per capita emissions of CO2 are estimated at 1.1 metric tons of carbon per person, down slightly from 1990. Regional values for 1992 range from 5.1 tons of carbon per person in North America to 0.3 tons per person in Africa and the Far East.
The CHAMMP Home Page has been established on the World Wide Web and may be viewed with XMOSAIC or a compatible browser at the URL http://www.esd.ornl. gov/programs/ chammp/chammp.html. Links are maintained to other home pages with information relating to CHAMMP research projects. FTP has also been provided on the server for transferring files between researchers.
CDIAC has developed a home page on the Internet. The CDIAC Home Page is like the front matter of a book, a starting point for browsing for more information. The CDIAC Home Page identifies information products, publications, and services provided by CDIAC. Features of the home page include direct links to specific titles of CDIAC and DOE publications, CDIAC's numeric data packages, other agencies and organizations, and other information resources.
The CDIAC Home Page is still "under construction" and will change frequently as new files, descriptions, and features are added. To keep current with CDIAC's activities, you may want to routinely browse our home page. The CDIAC Home Page is located on the World-Wide Web (WWW or "The Web") and can be accessed with the URL (uniform resource locator):
The U.S. Department of Energy also has a WWW site on the Internet (http://www.doe. gov) that provides general information about DOE and its programs. The home page for DOE's Global Change Research Program (GCRP) provides starting points and pathways for accessing DOE-supported resources, links to other agencies, and additional information. The DOE GCRP URL is
CDIAC and DOE serve as active participants in the U.S. Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS) and have assisted in the ongoing development of the GCDIS Home Page, which provides comprehensive coverage of the resources and services of the agencies participating in the GCDIS. The URL for the GCDIS Home Page is:
DOE and nine other federal agencies have awarded $5.5 million dollars in climate-change-study grants to 27 developing countries. These nations will use the money to develop greenhouse-gas inventories and action plans for reducing global-warming emissions.
The funding comes from the U.S. Country Studies Program, a coalition of 10 U.S. government agencies aimed at providing financial and technical support to developing countries to help them meet their responsibilities as Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention, unveiled in April 1992 at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (also known as the Rio Treaty or Earth Summit), so far has been signed by 166 countries and ratified by 93.
The U.S. Country Studies Program previously gave $25 million in climate-change-study grants to 26 other developing countries, bringing the grant total to $30.5 million.
All recipient nations must provide grants matching the U.S. contribution up to 50%. The 27 countries receiving this round of grants are Bangladesh, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malawi, Philippines, Tanzania, Uruguay, Bolivia, Estonia, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Romania, Thailand, Western Samoa, Botswana, Fiji, Kenya, Mozambique, Slovak Republic, Uganda, Zambia, China, Hungary, Kiribati, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine.
The U.S. Country Studies Program is made up of the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Agency for International Development, Department of State, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Department of the Interior, and Department of Health and Human Services. For further technical information, contact Alexander Winslow, Communications Officer, USEPA, Climate Change Division, at 202-260-4033.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and electric utilities throughout the United States have established a voluntary initiative to explore and promote the means to reduce, limit, avoid, or offset emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The Climate Challenge program provides electric utilities the flexibility to pursue cost-effective, customized strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and to stimulate investments in the growing U.S. environmental-technology marketplace.
The Climate Challenge was developed in response to President Clinton's Climate Change Action Plan, which was announced in October of 1993. The Action Plan commits the United States to reduce "our emissions of greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the year 2000." Utility trade associations and individual utilities began discussions with DOE later in 1993 to determine how U.S. utilities might contribute to and provide a leadership role in meeting the goals set forth in the Climate Change Action Plan. A memorandum of understanding between DOE and representatives of the electric utility industry was signed on April 22, 1994 _ Earth Day _ and provided the initial description of The Climate Challenge. For additional information about Climate Challenge and listings of specific utility-sponsored projects and activities, contact:
Kurt Klunder, Program Assistance and Support
Office of Utility Technologies
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20585
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has established a World Wide Web (WWW) site, Climate Change Action Plan: Climate Challenge at
The Climate Wise program includes the previously existing programs Motor Challenge, Green Lights, Waste Wise, and NICE3 (National Industry Competitiveness through Energy, Environment, and Economics) and the new initiatives Clean Cities, Renewable Energy Commercialization_Biomass Power, and Energy Star, which support the Climate Change Action Plan through the application of specific energy-efficiency and alternative-fuels technologies.
Contacts for the Climate Wise program areMarsha Quinn or John Reese
Climate Wise also has a WWW site on the Internet at
The Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is employing both space- and ground-based measurement systems to provide the scientific basis for understanding global change. The MTPE's space-based Earth Observing System (EOS) provides a critical perspective for studying the Earth's atmosphere, ocean, land surface, ice/snow cover, and living organisms. The resulting data are managed by NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).
EOSDIS stores information at nine distributed active archive centers (DAACs). DAACs archive, distribute, and manage data as well as produce EOS information products. They are integrated through a System-Wide Information Management System (IMS).
Ground-based measurements of biogeochemical processes that contribute to potential global change are archived at the ORNL DAAC. Such data are used to calibrate and verify remote-sensing data and to parameterize and validate models. Data holdings include the First ISLSCP Field Experiment (FIFE) and the Oregon Transect Ecosystem Research (OTTER) project that were formerly maintained in the NASA Pilot Land Data System. A set of five CD-ROMs were produced from each project, and these are available upon request at no cost to the user. Users of the ORNL DAAC may also access metadata describing CDIAC's numeric data packages and request CDIAC data.
The ORNL DAAC is currently working with NASA's Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) and with the FIFE follow-on investigators to receive and distribute data from these projects. In coordination with the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, the staff of the ORNL DAAC have developed a net-primary-production (NPP) database. In addition, plans are under way for acquiring background data from an international Amazon Basin field investigation.
The large volume of data and diversity of disciplines within DAAC holdings pose unique technological challenges, but EOSDIS enables quick and easy access to its Earth-system data. Users may order multiple data packages from several DAACs simultaneously through the EOSDIS System-Wide IMS. Data within the ORNL DAAC can also be accessed through the ORNL DAAC IMS by telnetting to ornlims.ornl.gov 6493 with a workstation or a personal computer running X-emulation software. In addition, biogeochemical data and its associated documentation can be acquired from the ORNL DAAC through the World Wide Web at the URL http://www-eosdis.ornl.gov, which is also linked to both the System-Wide IMS and the ORNL DAAC IMS.
Assistance in selecting and ordering data or technical information about the use of a dataset may be obtained from Merilyn Gentry or Jerry Curry, (865) 241-3952 for voice, 432-574-4665 for fax, or email@example.com for e-mail. The mailing address is ORNL DAAC User Services Office, P.O. Box 2008, MS-6407, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831-6407.
CO2 fluxes are concurrently measured
on the flux-measurement tower and
an airplane as researchers stand by .
|CDIAC's NDPs - AN Updated List|