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Potential for cropland expansion Potential for cropland expansion
Current projections suggest that an additional 120 million ha – an area twice the size of France or one-third that of India – will be needed to support the traditional growth in food production by 2030, mainly in developing countries (FAO, 2003), without considering the compensation required for certain losses. The demand for irrigated land is projected to increase by 56% in Sub- Saharan Africa (from 4.5 to 7 million ha), and rainfed land b...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected changes in cereal productivity in Africa, due to climate change – current climate to 2080 Projected changes in cereal productivity in Africa, due to climate change – current climate to 2080
Water is essential not only to survival but is also equally or even more important than nutrients in food production. Agriculture accounts for nearly 70% of the water consumption, with some estimates as high as 85% (Hanasaki et al., 2008a,b). Water scarcity will affect over 1.8 billion people by 2025 (WHO, 2007). This could have major impacts on health, particularly in rural areas, and thus also major impacts on farmer productivity. Althoug...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected agriculture in 2080 due to climate change Projected agriculture in 2080 due to climate change
With our climate changes, we have to adapt our ways to a new environment – in most cases warmer and possibly wetter and drier. Projections on the climate in the future provide some guidance for us, but how can we create models for how the human society reacts? This map presents a rough idea of changes in agricultural output from increased temperatures, precipitation differences and also from carbon fertilization for plants. Projecting climate is ...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Historic CO2 emissions by region Historic CO2 emissions by region
Carbon cycle, carbon fluxes and stocks.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems Carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems
Terrestrial ecosystems store about 2100 Gt C in living organisms, litter and soil organic matter, which is almost three times that currently present in the atmosphere.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperate forests Temperate forests
Temperate forests are active carbon sinks and deforestation in the temperate zone has largely stopped. Where demand for land and/or water allows, reforestation would enable carbon sequestration and could provide other benefits including higher biodiversity and recreation opportunities.
06 Nov 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Boreal forest Boreal forest
The boreal forest biome holds the second largest stock of carbon; most of this is stored in the soil and litter. The draining of boreal forest peatlands, inappropriate forestry practices and poor fire management may all cause significant losses of the carbon stored in this ecosystem.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Peat distribution in the World Peat distribution in the World
Peatland soils store a large amount of carbon but there is a grave risk that much of this will be lost as peatland ecosystems worldwide are being converted for agriculture, plantations and bioenergy. Conservation and restoration of tropical peatlands should be considered a global priority.
01 Nov 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ocean carbon cycle Ocean carbon cycle
Without the contribution of oceans and coastal ecosystems to global biological carbon sequestration today’s CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would be much larger than it is. But the uptake capacity of oceans and coasts is both finite and vulnerable. Minimisation of pressures, restoration and sustainable use are management options that can help these ecosystems maintain their important carbon management function.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Tundra Tundra
Tundra ecosystems are dense in carbon. They have little potential to gain more carbon but a huge amount could be lost if the permafrost were to thaw. Prevention of climate change is currently the only failsafe method of minimising this loss.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Carbon stored by biome Carbon stored by biome
Dividing the world into seven biomes, we estimate that tropical and subtropical forests store the largest amount of carbon, almost 550 Gt.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperate Forests Temperate Forests
Temperate forests are active carbon sinks and deforestation in the temperate zone has largely stopped. Where demand for land and/or water allows, reforestation would enable carbon sequestration and could provide other benefits including higher biodiversity and recreation opportunities.
13 Sep 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Plantation forestry Plantation forestry
Timber forestry can be adapted to increase the amount of carbon held in plantations.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Desert and dry shrublands Desert and dry shrublands
The large surface area of drylands gives dryland carbon sequestration a global significance, despite their relatively low carbon density. The fact that many dryland soils have been degraded means that they are currently far from saturated with carbon and their potential to sequester carbon can be high.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Savannas and tropical grasslands Savannas and tropical grasslands
Savannas cover large areas of Africa and South America and can store significant amounts of carbon, especially in their soils. Activities such as cropping, heavy grazing and increased frequency or intensity of fires can reduce carbon stored in these systems.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Carbon cycle Carbon cycle
Living systems play a vital role in the carbon cycle. Photosynthesising organisms – mostly plants on land and various kinds of algae and bacteria in the sea – use either atmospheric carbon dioxide or that dissolved in sea water as the basis for the complex organic carbon compounds that are essential for life.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Forest, crops and the people Forest, crops and the people
There are competing demands for land use. Any policy that aims to promote ecosystem carbon management must resolve conflicts between different land uses and take care not to disadvantage the poor.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Tropical agriculture Tropical agriculture
There is great potential to restore carbon in tropical agricultural soils through management practices that, in the right circumstances, can also increase productivity. Agroforestry can offer particularly large carbon gains, although it can increase water demand. Agricultural carbon sequestration policies will need to be tailored to particular circumstances to allow farmers to benefit.
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The vicious cycle of depletion The vicious cycle of depletion
Agricultural systems in the temperate zone tend to occupy fertile soils that would have formerly supported temperate grassland or forest. Land clearance for croplands and pasture has greatly reduced above ground carbon stocks from their original state and soil carbon stocks are also often depleted as tillage disrupts the soil, opening it to decomposer organisms and generating aerobic conditions that stimulate respiration and release of carb...
27 May 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Tropical forests Tropical forests
Tropical forests hold the largest terrestrial carbon store and are active carbon sinks. Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation is a vital component of tackling dangerous climate change. In addition, tackling illegal and ill-managed logging will be an important part of reducing emissions from forestry.
06 Nov 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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