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Potential Direct and Indirect Effects of Global Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Future Land-use Chage

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dc.contributor.author Kicklighter, D.W.
dc.contributor.author Gurgel, A.
dc.contributor.author Melillo, J.
dc.contributor.author Paltsev, S.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-10T14:08:43Z
dc.date.available 2012-05-10T14:08:43Z
dc.date.issued 2012-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/70558
dc.description http://globalchange.mit.edu/research/publications/2240 en_US
dc.description.abstract The production of cellulosic biofuels may have a large influence on future land emissions of greenhouse gases. These effects will vary across space and time depending on land-use policies, trade, and variations in environmental conditions. We link an economic model with a terrestrial biogeochemistry model to explore how projections of cellulosic biofuels production may influence future land emissions of carbon and nitrous oxide. Tropical regions, particularly Africa and Latin America, are projected to become major producers of biofuels. Most biofuels production is projected to occur on lands that would otherwise be used to produce crops, livestock and timber. Biofuels production leads to displacement and a redistribution of global food and timber production along with a reduction in the trade of food products. Overall, biofuels production and the displacement of other managed lands increase emissions of greenhouse gases primarily as a result of carbon emissions from deforestation and nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer applications to maximize biofuel crop production in tropical regions. With optimal application of nitrogen fertilizers, cellulosic biofuels production may enhance carbon sequestration in soils of some regions. As a result, the relative importance of carbon emissions versus nitrous oxide emissions varies among regions. Reductions in carbon sequestration by natural ecosystems caused by the expansion of biofuels have minor effects on the global greenhouse gas budget and are more than compensated by concurrent biofuel-induced reductions in nitrous oxide emissions from natural ecosystems. Land policies that avoid deforestation and fertilizer applications, particularly in tropical regions, will have the largest impact on minimizing land emissions of greenhouse gas from cellulosic biofuels production. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This research was supported in part by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to the MBL, Department of Energy, Office of Science (BER) grants DE-FG02-94ER61937, DE-FG02- 93ER61677, DE-FG02-08ER64648, EPA grant XA-83240101, NSF grant BCS-0410344, and the industrial and foundation sponsors of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Joint Program Report Series;210
dc.rights An error occurred on the license name. en
dc.rights.uri An error occurred getting the license - uri. en
dc.title Potential Direct and Indirect Effects of Global Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Future Land-use Chage en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US
dc.identifier.citation Report no. 210 en_US


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