zum Inhalt springen

Lands of opportunity? From side-effects of land use to mitigating climate change

Prof Julia Pongratz  | Department of Geography  |  Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich  |  Germany

Abstract: Three quarters of the ice-free land surface are under some form of land use — cleared for agriculture, grazed on, or used in forestry. This land use has contributed one third to historical CO2 emissions, but also affects climate locally by changing water and energy fluxes. Depending on type of land use change and region, the overall effect may be a warming or a cooling contribution to global climate change. Which one it is is crucially important as we are moving from seeing climatic consequences of land use change as inevitable side-effects towards using them deliberately to alter global climate or mitigate climate change on local scale. In particular for reaching the 2-degree target or as “geoengineering” option land use, including bioenergy, takes a prominent role. This talk will illustrate the different perspectives on land use in the past and in the future, when carbon and biogeophysical effects, local and global scale are considered simultaneously.