Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?
by Melillo, J.M., J.M. Reilly, D.W. Kicklighter, A.C. Gurgel, T.W. Cronin, S. Paltsev, B.S. Felzer, X. Wang, A.P. Sokolov and C.A. Schlosser
Science, 326(5958): 1397-1399, 2009
A global biofuels program will lead to intense pressures on land supply and can increase greenhouse gas emissions from land-use changes. Using linked economic and terrestrial biogeochemistry models, we examine direct and indirect effects of possible land-use changes from an expanded global cellulosic bioenergy program on greenhouse gas emissions over the 21st century. Our model predicts indirect land use will be responsible for substantially more carbon loss (up to twice as much) than direct land use; however, because of predicted increases in fertilizer use, nitrous oxide emissions will be more important than carbon losses themselves in terms of warming potential. A global greenhouse gas emissions policy that protects forests and encourages best practices for nitrogen fertilizer use can dramatically reduce emissions associated with biofuels production.
© 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science
The links below provide access to the data developed by our simulations and used in the Melillo et al. (2009) analysis:
- Land Cover from 2000 to 2100 for Case 1 (Excel: 34 kB)
- Land Cover from 2000 to 2100 for Case 2 (Excel: 34 kB)
- Carbon Fluxes and N Fertilizer Applications from 2001 to 2100 for Case 1 (Excel: 29 kB)
- Carbon Fluxes and N Fertilizer Applications from 2001 to 2100 for Case 2 (Excel: 29 kB)
Full article available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1180251