The paper introduces the so-called climate change approach, where vulnerability and adaptation measures are assessed in the context of general development policy objectives. The approach is based on the application of a limited set of indicators. These indicators are selected as representatives of focal development policy objectives, and a stepwise approach for addressing climate change impacts, development linkages, and the economic, social and environmental dimensions related to vulnerability and adaptation are introduced. Within this context it is illustrated using three case studies how development policy indicators in practice can be used to assess climate change impacts and adaptation measures based on three case studies, namely a road project in flood prone areas of Mozambique, rainwater harvesting in the agricultural sector in Tanzania and malaria protection in Tanzania. The conclusions of the paper confirm that climate risks can be reduced at relatively low costs, but the uncertainty is still remaining about some of the wider development impacts of implementing climate change adaptation measures.
Land use policies have turned southern China into one of the most intensively managed forest regions in the world, with actions maximizing forest cover on soils with marginal agricultural potential while concurrently increasing livelihoods and mitigating climate change. Based on satellite observations, here we show that diverse land use changes in southern China have increased standing aboveground carbon stocks by 0.11 ± 0.05 Pg C y −1 during 2002-2017. Most of this regional carbon sink was contributed by newly established forests (32%), while forests already existing contributed 24%. Forest growth in harvested forest areas contributed 16% and non-forest areas contributed 28% to the carbon sink, while timber harvest was tripled. Soil moisture declined significantly in 8% of the area. We demonstrate that land management in southern China has been removing an amount of carbon equivalent to 33% of regional fossil CO 2 emissions during the last 6 years, but forest growth saturation, land competition for food production and soil-water depletion challenge the longevity of this carbon sink service.
Abstract:The 'rain use efficiency' (RUE) may be defined as the ratio of above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) to annual precipitation, and it is claimed to be a conservative property of the vegetation cover in drylands, if the vegetation cover is not subject to non-precipitation related land degradation. Consequently, RUE may be regarded as means of normalizing ANPP for the impact of annual precipitation, and as an indicator of non-precipitation related land degradation. Large scale and long term identification and monitoring of land degradation in drylands, such as the Sahel, can only be achieved by use of Earth Observation (EO) data. This paper demonstrates that the use of the standard EO-based proxy for ANPP, summed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies 3rd generation (GIMMS3g)) over the year (ΣNDVI), and the blended EO/rain gauge based data-set for annual precipitation (Climate Prediction Center Merged Analysis of
OPEN ACCESSRemote Sens. 2013, 5 665 Precipitation, CMAP) results in RUE-estimates which are highly correlated with precipitation, rendering RUE useless as a means of normalizing for the impact of annual precipitation on ANPP. By replacing ΣNDVI by a 'small NDVI integral', covering only the rainy season and counting only the increase of NDVI relative to some reference level, this problem is solved. Using this approach, RUE is calculated for the period 1982-2010. The result is that positive RUE-trends dominate in most of the Sahel, indicating that non-precipitation related land degradation is not a widespread phenomenon. Furthermore, it is argued that two preconditions need to be fulfilled in order to obtain meaningful results from the RUE temporal trend analysis: First, there must be a significant positive linear correlation between annual precipitation and the ANPP proxy applied. Second, there must be a near-zero correlation between RUE and annual precipitation. Thirty-seven percent of the pixels in Sahel satisfy these requirements and the paper points to a range of different reasons why this may be the case.
The African continent is facing one of the driest periods in the past three decades as well as continued deforestation. These disturbances threaten vegetation carbon (C) stocks and highlight the need for improved capabilities of monitoring large-scale aboveground carbon stock dynamics. Here we use a satellite dataset based on vegetation optical depth derived from low-frequency passive microwaves (L-VOD) to quantify annual aboveground biomass-carbon changes in sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2016. L-VOD is shown not to saturate over densely vegetated areas. The overall net change in drylands (53% of the land area) was -0.05 petagrams of C per year (Pg C yr) associated with drying trends, and a net change of -0.02 Pg C yr was observed in humid areas. These trends reflect a high inter-annual variability with a very dry year in 2015 (net change, -0.69 Pg C) with about half of the gross losses occurring in drylands. This study demonstrates, first, the applicability of L-VOD to monitor the dynamics of carbon loss and gain due to weather variations, and second, the importance of the highly dynamic and vulnerable carbon pool of dryland savannahs for the global carbon balance, despite the relatively low carbon stock per unit area.
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