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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: December 2010

20 - Insights from EMF-associated agricultural and forestry greenhouse gas mitigation studies

from Part III - Mitigation of greenhouse gases

Summary

Introduction

Integrated assessment modeling (IAM) as employed by the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) generally involves a multi-sector appraisal of greenhouse gas emission (GHGE) mitigation alternatives and climate change effects, typically at the global level. Such a multi-sector evaluation encompasses potential climate change effects, and mitigative actions within the agricultural and forestry (AF) sectors. In comparison with many of the other sectors covered by IAM, the AF sectors may require somewhat different treatment owing to their critical dependence upon spatially and temporally varying resource and climatic conditions. In particular, in large countries like the United States, forest production conditions vary dramatically across the landscape. For example, some areas in the southern United States present conditions favorable to production of fast-growing, heat-tolerant pine species, while more northern regions often favor slower-growing hardwood and softwood species. Moreover, some lands are currently not suitable for forest production (e.g., the arid western plains). Similarly, in agriculture, the United States has areas where citrus and cotton can be grown and other areas where barley and wheat are more suitable. This diversity across the landscape causes differential GHGE mitigation potential in the face of climatic changes and/or responses to policy or price incentives.

It is difficult for a reasonably sized global IAM to reflect the full range of sub-national geographic AF production possibilities alluded to above. AF response in the face of climate change alterations in temperature precipitation regimes plus mitigation incentives will be likely to involve region-specific shifts in land use and agricultural/forest production.

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