Carbon Management and Scenario Planning at the Landscape Scale with GIS By: Shabnam Delfan Azari It is now widely believed that globally averaged temperatures will rise significantly over the next 100 years as a result of increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide. Responses to the threat of future climate change are both adaptations to new climate conditions, and mitigation of the magnitude of change. Mitigation can be achieved both through reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and by increasing storage of carbon in the earth system. In particular it is thought that there is potential for increased storage of carbon on land in soils and growing vegetation. There is now a need for research on the potential impacts of changing land use on terrestrial carbon storage, in particular as rapid land use and land cover change has taken place in most of regions of world over the past few decades due to accelerated industrialization, urbanization and agricultural practice. This thesis has developed a novel methodology for estimating the impacts of land use and land cover change (LULCC) on terrestrial carbon storage using Geographic Information Systems and Optimization modelling, using a regional case study (the Tamar Valley Catchment, southwest England) and drawing entirely on secondary data sources (current distributions of soils and vegetation). A series of scenarios for future land cover change have been developed, for which carbon storage, GHG and energy emissions amount have been calculated over the short, medium and long term (2020, 2050 and 2080). Results show that in this region, improving permanent grassland and expanding forestry land are the best options for increasing carbon storage in soils and biomass. The model has been validated using sensitivity analysis, which demonstrates that although there is uncertainty within the input parameters, the results remain significant when this is modelled within the linear programme. The methodology proposed here has the potential to make an important contribution to assessing the impacts of policies relating to land use at the preparation and formulation stages, and is applicable in any geographic situation where the appropriate secondary data sources are available.

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