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Impacts of Land Use and Land Management on Earth System Evolution, Biogeochemical Cycles, Extremes and Inter-Sectoral Dynamics

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Session Description: 

Human land-use activities have resulted in large changes to the Earth surface, with resulting implications for climate, carbon cycling, and society. In the future, land-use activities are likely to expand and intensify further to meet growing demands for food, fiber, and energy. The Land Use Model Intercomparison Project (LUMIP) of CMIP6 aims to further advance understanding of the impacts of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) on climate, specifically addressing the questions: (1) What are the effects of LULCC on climate and biogeochemical cycling (past-future)? (2) What are the impacts of land management on surface fluxes of carbon, water, and energy and are there regional land-management strategies with promise to help mitigate against climate change?
In addressing these questions, LUMIP is addressing a range of more detailed science questions to get at process-level attribution, uncertainty, data requirements, and other related issues in more depth and sophistication than possible in a multi-model context to date. There will be particular focus on the separation and quantification of the effects on climate from land-use and land-cover change relative to all forcings, separation of biogeochemical from biogeophysical effects of land-use, the unique impacts of land-cover change versus land management change, modulation of land-use impact on climate by land-atmosphere coupling strength, and the extent that impacts of enhanced CO2 concentrations on plant photosynthesis are modulated by past and future land use. Participants will discuss broader impacts of these land use and land management options, including their implications for energy systems, security, water scarcity, water quality, biodiversity, and adaptation.
Specific workshop goals include:
• Assess the state of understanding and analysis with respect to the above science questions and planning additional analysis in the context of IPCC AR6.
• Clarify focus of the LUMIP community on the societal impacts of land use and land management, especially at low emission scenarios. Several recent studies and the new IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees have highlighted the potential role of land use in deep mitigation studies. However, these studies have also identified potential trade-offs between land uses and other sustainable development goals. For example, a number of studies indicate that large-scale use of bioenergy and BECCS can increase food prices, with negative consequences for food security.
• Examine impacts of different forms of land management (e.g., agriculture, forestry, irrigation, urbanization) on climate and discussion of broader impacts of these land use and land management options, including their implications for energy systems, food security, water scarcity, water quality, biodiversity, and adaptation.
• Present and develop metrics, based on satellite data and bookkeeping approaches, that classify the fidelity of Earth System Model-simulated land use change impacts on climate and carbon cycling.
• Advance analysis of CMIP6 LUMIP experiments and make plans for critical research for IPCC AR6 with a special emphasis on low emission scenarios (1.5o and 2o targets) where land use change and land management are expected to have large relative impact.
A priority deliverable of this meeting is to review simulation results from the CMIP6 Land Use Model Intercomparison Project (LUMIP) and develop a plan for additional analyses with a focus on low emission scenarios (1.5oC and 2oC targets, where land use change and land management is expected to have a large impact). Analyses will be completed in advance of the IPCC AR6 paper submission deadline in December 2019 and will, therefore, significantly contribute to large-scale international research efforts, as well as other national and international climate assessment reports and decision-making processes. Workshop findings will be communicated to all LUMIP participants by David Lawrence and George Hurtt (co-leads of LUMIP and co-chairs for this workshop along with Kate Calvin). A LUMIP overview paper will be initiated during the workshop. Workshop findings will also be reported to funding agencies to help inform research directions in the near future.