Regional carbon fluxes from land use and land cover change in Asia, 1980–2009
Environmental Research Letters
Open access. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
We present a synthesis of the land-atmosphere carbon flux from land use and land cover change (LULCC) in Asia using multiple data sources and paying particular attention to deforestation and forest regrowth fluxes. The data sources are quasi-independent and include the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization-Forest Resource Assessment (FAO-FRA 2015; country-level inventory estimates), the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGARv4.3), the 'Houghton' bookkeeping model that incorporates FAO-FRA data, an ensemble of 8 state-of-the-art Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVM), and 2 recently published independent studies using primarily remote sensing techniques. The estimates are aggregated spatially to Southeast, East, and South Asia and temporally for three decades, 1980–1989, 1990–1999 and 2000–2009. Since 1980, net carbon emissions from LULCC in Asia were responsible for 20%–40% of global LULCC emissions, with emissions from Southeast Asia alone accounting for 15%–25% of global LULCC emissions during the same period. In the 2000s and for all Asia, three estimates (FAO-FRA, DGVM, Houghton) were in agreement of a net source of carbon to the atmosphere, with mean estimates ranging between 0.24 to 0.41 Pg C yr−1, whereas EDGARv4.3 suggested a net carbon sink of −0.17 Pg C yr−1. Three of 4 estimates suggest that LULCC carbon emissions declined by at least 34% in the preceding decade (1990–2000). Spread in the estimates is due to the inclusion of different flux components and their treatments, showing the importance to include emissions from carbon rich peatlands and land management, such as shifting cultivation and wood harvesting, which appear to be consistently underreported.
This work was supported by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (ARCP2013-01CMY-Patra/Canadell). LC was supported by the National Science Foundation East Asia Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) Fellowship. KI and PP were supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Funds (2-1401) from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. JGC thanks the support from the Australian Climate Change Science Program. AI and EK were supported by ERTDF (S-10) by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. CK is supported by DOE-BER through BGC-Feedbacks SFA and NGEE-Tropics. AW was supported by the Joint UK DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101) and EU FP7 Funding through project LUC4C (603542).
This is the final version of the article. Available from IOP Publishing via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 11 (7), article 074011