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Options for Net Zero Plus and Climate Change Adaptation

Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: NE/X006247/1
Funded under: NERC Funder Contribution: 9,440,200 GBP

Options for Net Zero Plus and Climate Change Adaptation

Description

The land can contribute to climate mitigation through absorbing more carbon dioxide and reducing other greenhouse gas emissions by growing more trees and re-wetting the peatlands. But as the climate warms and more demands are made of the land to feed a growing population, there is less space for these land-based climate mitigation activities and less for nature and biodiversity. Meanwhile, the changing climate is bringing more extreme weather which impacts on our safety. To grow a green future that is safe and resilient to these changes, we need to understand the linkages between the land and water systems of the earth. We need to have clear evidence of how changes we make on land and water management impact on the other aspects of the land-system, including how they will respond to increasing temperatures and extreme weather systems. This programme of work will bring together scientists from many different disciplines to work together to understand three key questions: What is limited our ability to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from the land? What are the options for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and what impacts do they have on the environment? How can we improve our resilience to climate change through improved forecasting and prediction of extreme events? By bringing together scientists in disciplines from soils, water, air and ecosystem dynamics, we will improve our understanding of the complex system that lies at the heart of the problem. We will use novel downscaling techniques and uncertainty framework to link global models to regional and national scale simulations. This will enable us to reality check the assumptions made in the global analysis against local knowledge. Using the downscaled data as a base-line, we will develop new knowledge of how the land-system interacts with the climate system at the local scale. Case studies around ecosystem restoration in sub-saharan Africa and gradients of intensity of agriculture in Southeast Asia will be used to quantify the impact of ecosystem management on climate mitigation metrics. Results of these case-studies will be used to inform the global assessment of land-management potential to contribute to Net Zero. We will create a global network of scientists bringing their knowledge of the environmental and socio-political system and how it interacts. Global and regional data will be made available to the national (UK) and international community of scientists to address these urgent issues

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