CLIMATE IMPACT OF LAND-USE CHANGE IN THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES: MEASURING ALBEDO AND CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN WILLOW AND FOREST BIOENERGY SYSTEMS
Levy, Charlotte Ruth
In order to strategically implement climate mitigation projects, policy-makers need an accurate accounting of the complete climate impacts from biogeochemical and biogeophysical climate forcings. Particularly, the inclusion of land-use driven biogeophysical effects such as albedo are often neglected in carbon accounting that considers both life-cycle analyses and averted emissions. In this thesis we quantify the climate impact of albedo in the context of land-use change for climate mitigation projects such as production of bioenergy and afforestation. We provide a new methodology for measuring local albedo, describe its impact present and future, and examine the net impact of land-use change in the context of albedo. In Chapter 1, we outline a novel technique for measuring surface albedo at varying scales by utilizing a standard unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) quadcopter. We compare summer measurements over a deciduous forest and short-rotation coppiced willow field to standard tower and satellite measurements. We conclude that UAV are an affordable and flexible tool for measuring albedo at the land surface. Chapter 2 quantified the impact of albedo in land-conversion from cropfield to four different biofuel crops. We determined that albedo presented a small to substantial warming impact in all cases. We further examined the effect of anticipated future snow-loss on this forcing, and found that under moderate warming scenarios, snow-loss would be sufficient to reverse the albedo impact for some biofuel conversions within the next 100 years. In Chapter 3 we identified the net impact of three reforestation and two willow biofuel scenarios accounting for albedo and carbon emissions. We concluded that albedo substantially altered net impact, particularly in forest systems.
Afforestation; Albedo; Bioenergy; Climate Change; Land Use Change; UAV
Goodale, Christine L.Fahey, Timothy James
Mahowald, Natalie M.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ph. D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International