On the global limits of bioenergy and land use for climate change mitigation

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Title: On the global limits of bioenergy and land use for climate change mitigation
Authors: Strapasson, A
Woods, J
Chum, H
Kalas, N
Shah, N
Rosillo-Calle, F
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Across energy, agricultural and forestry landscapes, the production of biomass for energy has emerged as a controversial driver of land-use change. We present a novel, simple methodology, to probe the potential global sustainability limits of bioenergy over time for energy provision and climate change mitigation using a complex-systems approach for assessing land-use dynamics. Primary biomass that could provide between 70 EJ year−1 and 360 EJ year−1, globally, by 2050 was simulated in the context of different land-use futures, food diet patterns and climate change mitigation efforts. Our simulations also show ranges of potential greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture, forestry and other land uses by 2050, including not only above-ground biomass-related emissions, but also from changes in soil carbon, from as high as 24 GtCO2eq year−1 to as low as minus 21 GtCO2eq year−1, which would represent a significant source of negative emissions. Based on the modelling simulations, the discussions offer novel insights about bioenergy as part of a broader integrated system. Whilst there are sustainability limits to the scale of bioenergy provision, they are dynamic over time, being responsive to land management options deployed worldwide.
Issue Date: 19-Jun-2017
Date of Acceptance: 5-May-2017
ISSN: 1757-1693
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 1721
End Page: 1735
Journal / Book Title: Global Change Biology Bioenergy
Volume: 9
Issue: 12
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Bioenergy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/K036734/1
Keywords: Biomass
System dynamics
GCLUC model
Global Calculator
Food security
Land use
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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