Carbon Dynamics and Land-Use Choices: Building a Regional-Scale Multidisciplinary Model

Motu Working Paper No. 2003-06

30 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2003

See all articles by Suzi Kerr

Suzi Kerr

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Shuguang Liu

Government of the United States of America - Eros Data Center

Alexander Pfaff

Duke University - Policy, Economics, Environment; Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Flint Hughes

USDA Forest Service

Date Written: April 2003

Abstract

Policy enabling tropical forests to approach their potential contribution to global-climate-change mitigation requires forecasts of land use and carbon storage on a large scale over long periods. In this paper, we present an integrated modeling methodology that addresses these needs. We model the dynamics of the human land-use system and of C pools contained in each ecosystem, as well as their interactions. The model is national scale, and is currently applied in a preliminary way to Costa Rica using data spanning a period of over fifty years. It combines an ecological process model, parameterized using field and other data, with an economic model, estimated using historical data to ensure a close link to actual behavior. These two models are linked so that ecological conditions affect land-use choices and vice versa. The integrated model predicts land use and its consequences for C storage for policy scenarios. These predictions can be used to create baselines, reward sequestration, and estimate the value in both environmental and economic terms of including C sequestration in tropical forests as part of the efforts to mitigate global climate change. The model can also be used to assess the benefits from costly activities to increase accuracy and thus reduce errors and their societal costs.

Keywords: Carbon, sequestration, climate change, land use, modelling

JEL Classification: Q23, Q25. L71

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Suzi and Liu, Shuguang and Pfaff, Alexander and Hughes, Flint, Carbon Dynamics and Land-Use Choices: Building a Regional-Scale Multidisciplinary Model (April 2003). Motu Working Paper No. 2003-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=441020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.441020

Suzi Kerr (Contact Author)

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand
+64 4 383 4250 (Phone)
+64 4 383 4270 (Fax)

Shuguang Liu (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Eros Data Center ( email )

12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192
United States

Alexander Pfaff

Duke University - Policy, Economics, Environment ( email )

201 Science Drive
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708-0239
United States

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Flint Hughes

USDA Forest Service ( email )

1400 Independence Ave., SW
Madison, WI 87109
United States

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