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Integrating satellite and socioeconomic data to improve climate change policy

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Bangladesh is on observe to lose all of its forestland within the subsequent 35-40 years, resulting in an increase in CO2 emissions and subsequent local weather change, researchers stated. Nonetheless, that’s simply one of many vital land-use modifications that the nation is experiencing. A brand new examine makes use of satellite tv for pc and census information to quantify and unravel how bodily and financial components drive land-use modifications. Understanding this relationship can inform local weather coverage on the nationwide scale in Bangladesh and past.

The examine, led by College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain and postdoctoral researcher Xiaoming Xu, is revealed within the journal Regional Environmental Change.

“Land utilization modifications when biophysical components like temperature and soil high quality change, but additionally when the financial wants of individuals change,” Xu stated. The examine identifies two key areas the place land use and canopy have shifted due to biophysical and socioeconomic actions in Bangladesh — and suggests insurance policies to mitigate their affect on local weather change.

First, the staff discovered that roughly 11% of the forests in Bangladesh have shifted to shrub land, cropland and concrete land from 2000-10.

“Excessive local weather occasions, similar to drought and flood, modifications in city and rural inhabitants and financial circumstances are driving the modifications from forest to shrub land within the southeast area of Bangladesh,” Jain stated. “Right here, the locals earn their livelihood by utilizing land, lumber and gas sources from forests. Nonetheless, deforestation could also be managed by implementing easy insurance policies similar to street enchancment, which might present the folks with a way to acquire various fuels and livelihoods that aren’t as depending on forests.”

The examine additionally discovered that from 2000-10, the world of standing water our bodies similar to ponds, lakes and reservoirs elevated by roughly 9%. This alteration occurred within the coastal southwest a part of the nation, the place worsening floods throughout monsoon months have pushed aquaculture enlargement at the price of cropland in latest a long time, the researchers stated.

“The speedy conversion of conventional rice-farming land to saltwater shrimp ponds is now a well-established follow within the southwest coastal space of Bangladesh,” Xu stated. “Shrimp farming is 12 instances extra worthwhile than rice cultivation on this nation.”

The flooding and enlargement of saltwater farming have led to elevated soil salinity, spoiling the soil for farming functions, the researchers stated. “Insurance policies must be developed that encourage the event of saltwater aquaculture solely within the areas with favorable circumstances to forestall additional soil degradation,” Jain stated.

Story Supply:

Materials supplied by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau. Authentic written by Lois Yoksoulian. Be aware: Content material could also be edited for fashion and size.

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