Land-use futures in the shared socio-economic pathways

Popp A, Calvin K, Fujimori S, Havlik P, Humpenöder F, Stehfest E, Bodirsky BL, Dietrich JP, et al. (2017). Land-use futures in the shared socio-economic pathways. Global Environmental Change 42: 331-345. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.10.002.

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Project: Land use change: assessing the net climate forcing, and options for climate change mitigation and adaptation (LUC4C, FP7 603542), AN Integration of Mitigation and Adaptation options for sustainable Livestock production under climate CHANGE (ANIMALCHANGE, FP7 266018), Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)

Abstract

In the future, the land system will be facing new intersecting challenges. While food demand, especially for resource-intensive livestock based commodities, is expected to increase, the terrestrial system has large potentials for climate change mitigation through improved agricultural management, providing biomass for bioenergy, and conserving or even enhancing carbon stocks of ecosystems. However, uncertainties in future socio-economic land use drivers may result in very different land-use dynamics and consequences for land-based ecosystem services. This is the first study with a systematic interpretation of the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs) in terms of possible land-use changes and their consequences for the agricultural system, food provision and prices as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, five alternative Integrated Assessment Models with distinctive land-use modules have been used for the translation of the SSP narratives into quantitative projections. The model results reflect the general storylines of the SSPs and indicate a broad range of potential land-use futures with global agricultural land of 4900 mio ha in 2005 decreasing by 810 mio ha until 2100 at the lower (SSP1) and increasing by 1080 mio ha (SSP3) at the upper end. Greenhouse gas emissions from land use and land use change, as a direct outcome of these diverse land-use dynamics, and agricultural production systems differ strongly across SSPs (e.g. cumulative land use change emissions between 2005 and 2100 range from −54 to 402 Gt CO2). The inclusion of land-based mitigation efforts, particularly those in the most ambitious mitigation scenarios, further broadens the range of potential land futures and can strongly affect greenhouse gas dynamics and food prices. In general, it can be concluded that low demand for agricultural commodities, rapid growth in agricultural productivity and globalized trade, all most pronounced in a SSP1 world, have the potential to enhance the extent of natural ecosystems, lead to lowest greenhouse gas emissions from the land system and decrease food prices over time. The SSP-based land use pathways presented in this paper aim at supporting future climate research and provide the basis for further regional integrated assessments, biodiversity research and climate impact analysis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Scenarios; Land use; Emissions; Mitigation; Food prices; Integrated assessment; SSP
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 06:44
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2017 14:36
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/13897

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