Hotspots of gross emissions from the land use sector: patterns, uncertainties, and leading emission sources for the period 2000–2005 in the tropics | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
July 2016
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
License of the resource: 

According to the latest report of the Intergovern- mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emissions must be cut by 41–72 % below 2010 levels by 2050 for a likely chance of containing the global mean temperature increase to 2 ?C. The AFOLU sector (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use) contributes roughly a quarter (? 10–12 Pg CO2 e yr?1 ) of the net anthropogenic GHG emissions mainly from de- forestation, fire, wood harvesting, and agricultural emissions including croplands, paddy rice, and livestock. In spite of the importance of this sector, it is unclear where the regions with hotspots of AFOLU emissions are and how uncertain these emissions are. Here we present a novel, spatially com- parable dataset containing annual mean estimates of gross AFOLU emissions (CO2 , CH4 , N2 O), associated uncertain- ties, and leading emission sources, in a spatially disaggre-gated manner (0.5?) for the tropics for the period 2000–2005. Our data highlight the following: (i) the existence of AFOLU emissions hotspots on all continents, with particular impor- tance of evergreen rainforest deforestation in Central and South America, fire in dry forests in Africa, and both peat- land emissions and agriculture in Asia; (ii) a predominant contribution of forests and CO2 to the total AFOLU emis- sions (69 %) and to their uncertainties (98 %); (iii) higher gross fluxes from forests, which coincide with higher uncer- tainties, making agricultural hotspots appealing for effective mitigation action; and (iv) a lower contribution of non-CO2 agricultural emissions to the total gross emissions (ca. 25 %), with livestock (15.5 %) and rice (7 %) leading the emissions. Gross AFOLU tropical emissions of 8.0 (5.5–12.2) were in the range of other databases (8.4 and 8.0 Pg CO2 e yr?1 in FAOSTAT and the Emissions Database for Global Atmo- spheric Research (EDGAR) respectively), but we offer a spa- tially detailed benchmark for monitoring progress in reduc- ing emissions from the land sector in the tropics. The location of the AFOLU hotspots of emissions and data on their as- sociated uncertainties will assist national policy makers, in- vestors, and other decision-makers who seek to understand the mitigation potential of the AFOLU sector.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Rosenstock, Todd S.
Roman-Cuesta, RM
Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus
Herold, Martin
Li C
Poulter B
Stuiver J
de Bruin S
Herrero, Mario
Verchot, Louis
Ogle, Stephen M.
Rufino, Mariana C.
Martius, Christopher
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Montana State University
University of New Hampshire
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Colorado State University

Corporate Author(s): 
Wageningen University logo

Wageningen University & Research is a collaboration between Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research foundation. 

That is the mission of Wageningen University & Research. A staff of 6,500 and 10,000 students from over 100 countries work everywhere around the world in the domain of healthy food and living environment for governments and the business community-at-large.

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a non-profit, scientific facility that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscapes management around the world. With our global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we help policymakers, practitioners and communities make decisions based on solid science about how they use and manage their forests and landscapes.

Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions.

Data provider


CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.

Related categories

Share this page