Special Issue "Socio-Economic Impacts of Carbon Sequestration on Livelihoods and Future Climate"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 19730

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Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marina Cabral Pinto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
GeoBioTec, Department of Geosciences, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: environmental geochemistry; medical mineralogy; medical geology; international geochemical mapping; water quality; soil quality; dust quality; health risk assessment; heavy metals; potentially toxic elements; epidemiology; neurosciences
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Amit Kumar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Hydrology and Water Resources, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Ningliu Road No. 219, Nanjing 210044, Jiangsu, China
Interests: biogeochemistry; environmental impact assessment; environment; Ec0-hydrology; carbon sequestration; soil analysis; soil chemistry; GHG emission; climate change; water quality; rivers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Munesh Kumar
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttarakhand 249161, India
Interests: socioeconomic development of Himalayas; environmental impact assessment; forestry; carbon sequestration; climate change and vulnerability assessment; carbon stock; soil analysis; soil chemistry; agroforestry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

In the modern era, carbon sequestration represents a long-lasting solution for the mitigation and management of CO2 emissions. However, claims of net carbon reduction and its impact on socioeconomic development are, as yet, unverified and comprise hotspots for present research. Socioeconomic factors, such as population, economic growth, demography, land use changes, lifestyle changes, and environmental policies, are the key driving forces underlying medium- to long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These influencing factors pose a challenge with regard to their mitigation and imply further costs toward meeting a stringent climate goal like the 1.5 °C climate target.

The concentration of atmospheric CO2 has accelerated upward during the last few decades at an annual rate of 1.91 ppm due to various anthropogenic activities, leading to an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration from 317 ppm in 1958 to 413 ppm in 2020. Forests are important for the global carbon cycle because they sequester carbon from the atmosphere while also emitting carbon, resulting in the loss of biomass. Precise information on forest carbon stocks is important in understanding the offsetting capabilities of forests. The precise estimation of forest carbon is also required for understanding the role of the forest in mitigating actions as well as to evaluate the role of forests through their ecosystem services. Forest carbon estimates are also required to evaluate forest degradation since anthropogenic extractions from forests result in the degradation of forests. By contrast, precise estimates of carbon in specific forests are largely not available due to the lack of resources and experts across the globe.

Agricultural practices promoting “soil health” are argued as being effective for soil carbon sequestration, while soil scientists and environmentalists broadly dismiss their likelihood of success in proving net carbon reductions of GHGs in the atmosphere. Moreover, they also have the potential to safeguard human health from climate change impacts. The literature reveals that very little study has been carried out on carbon sequestration and its medium-/long-term impact on socioeconomic management. Although filling these gaps in research is vital for sustainable environmental management, state-of-the-art studies combining soil sciences and changing land use and land cover (LULC) patterns and their impact on socioeconomics are missing.

This Special Issue explores soil carbon sequestration, the impact of deforestation on climate change, vulnerability risk for climate and ecological life, socioeconomic impacts, and strategies for the mitigation of future climatic impacts. The theme of the Special Issue extends across terrestrial ecosystems, environmental policy domains (e.g., REDD+ and the Paris Agreement), environmental applications (e.g., urbanization, agroforestry, and intensive LULC changes), and carbon credit generated worldwide (both voluntary and through compliance). This Special Issue is highly useful for environmentalists, water resource planners and managers, and policymakers in understanding the potential of carbon sequestration on a regional and global scale and, further, the medium-/long-term impacts on socioeconomic development resulting from its implementation via climate change modeling.

Dr. Marina Cabral Pinto
Dr. Amit Kumar
Dr. Munesh Kumar
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • land use and land cover
  • soil
  • health risk
  • environmental chemistry
  • biogeochemical
  • ecological health
  • carbon sequestration
  • vulnerability assessment
  • carbon stock
  • forestry

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Editorial for Special Issue “Socio-Economic Impacts of Carbon Sequestration on Livelihoods and Future Climate”
Land 2022, 11(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010051 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
In the modern era of industrial revolution, urbanization, and deforestation of forest land, carbon (C) sequestration through well-known activities called “land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)” could establish a win–win situation from a climate change and sustainable development perspective [...] Full article

Research

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Article
The Prediction of Carbon Emission Information in Yangtze River Economic Zone by Deep Learning
Land 2021, 10(12), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121380 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
This study aimed to respond to the national “carbon peak” mid-and long-term policy plan, comprehensively promote energy conservation and emission reduction, and accurately manage and predict carbon emissions. Firstly, the proposed method analyzes the Yangtze River Economic Belt as well as its “carbon [...] Read more.
This study aimed to respond to the national “carbon peak” mid-and long-term policy plan, comprehensively promote energy conservation and emission reduction, and accurately manage and predict carbon emissions. Firstly, the proposed method analyzes the Yangtze River Economic Belt as well as its “carbon peak” and carbon emissions. Secondly, a support vector regression (SVR) machine prediction model is proposed for the carbon emission information prediction of the Yangtze River Economic Zone. This experiment uses a long short-term memory neural network (LSTM) to train the model and realize the experiment’s prediction of carbon emissions. Finally, this study obtained the fitting results of the prediction model and the training model, as well as the prediction results of the prediction model. Information indicators such as the scale of industry investment, labor efficiency output, and carbon emission intensity that affect carbon emissions in the “Yangtze River Economic Belt” basin can be used to accurately predict the carbon emissions information under this model. Therefore, the experiment shows that the SVR model for solving complex nonlinear problems can achieve a relatively excellent prediction effect under the training of LSTM. The deep learning model adopted herein realized the accurate prediction of carbon emission information in the Yangtze River Economic Zone and expanded the application space of deep learning. It provides a reference for the model in related fields of carbon emission information prediction, which has certain reference significance. Full article
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Article
Eco-Restoration of Coal Mine Spoil: Biochar Application and Carbon Sequestration for Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 15
Land 2021, 10(11), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111112 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Open cast coal mining causes complete loss of carbon sink due to the destruction of vegetation and soil structure. In order to offset the destruction and to increase sequestration of carbon, afforestation is widely used to restore these mine spoils. The current field [...] Read more.
Open cast coal mining causes complete loss of carbon sink due to the destruction of vegetation and soil structure. In order to offset the destruction and to increase sequestration of carbon, afforestation is widely used to restore these mine spoils. The current field study was conducted to assess the ecosystem status, soil quality and C pool in an 8 years old reclaimed mine spoil (RMS), compared to a reference forest (RF) site and unamended mine spoil (UMS). Biochar (BC) prepared from invasive weed Calotropis procera was applied in this 8 year RMS at 30 t ha−1 (BC30) and 60 t ha−1 (BC60) to study its impact on RMS properties and C pool. Carbon fractionation was also conducted to estimate inorganic, coal and biogenic carbon pools. The C stock of 8 year old RMS was 30.98 Mg C ha−1 and sequestered 113.69 Mg C ha−1 CO2. BC30 and BC60 improved the C-stock of RMS by 31% and 45%, respectively, and increased the recalcitrant carbon by 65% (BC30) and 67% (BC60). Spoil physio-chemical properties such as pH, cation exchange capacity, moisture content and bulk density were improved by biochar application. The total soil carbon at BC30 (36.3 g C kg−1) and BC60 (40 g C kg−1) was found to be significantly high compared to RMS (21 g C kg−1) and comparable to RF (33 g C kg−1). Thus, eco-restoration of coal mine spoil and biochar application can be effective tools for coal mine reclamation and can help in achieving the UN sustainable development goal 13 (climate action) by increasing carbon sequestration and 15 (biodiversity protection) by promoting ecosystem development. Full article
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Article
Influence of Aspect and Elevational Gradient on Vegetation Pattern, Tree Characteristics and Ecosystem Carbon Density in Northwestern Himalayas
Land 2021, 10(11), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111109 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Himalayan forest has been threatened by rapid anthropogenic activities, resulting in the loss of forest diversity and climate change. The present study was carried out on four aspects (northern, southern, western and eastern), at three different altitudinal ranges, namely, 1000–1300 m above sea [...] Read more.
Himalayan forest has been threatened by rapid anthropogenic activities, resulting in the loss of forest diversity and climate change. The present study was carried out on four aspects (northern, southern, western and eastern), at three different altitudinal ranges, namely, 1000–1300 m above sea level (m a.s.l.), 1300–1600 m a.s.l. and 1600–1900 m a.s.l., and at three diverse mountain ranges (Kalaghat, Barog and Nangali) of sub-temperate forest ecosystems of the mid Himalayan ranges, to elucidate their influence on vegetation, tree characteristics and ecosystem carbon density. The results revealed that Pinus roxburghii is the most dominant forest community of the mid Himalaya’s forest, irrespective of altitudinal gradient and slope. The south-facing slopes are occupied by the xerophytic tree species frequently found in the lower Shiwalik P. roxburghii forest, whereas the north-facing ones are dominated by mesophyllic species, such as Cedrus deodara and Quercus leucotrichophora, which commonly grows in the northwestern Himalayan temperate forest ecosystem. The maximum stem density (211.00 Nha−1) was found at 1000–1300 m a.s.l., and on the northern aspect (211.00 Nha−1). The maximum stem volume (236.50 m3 ha−1) was observed on the northern aspect at 1000–1300 m a.s.l., whereas the minimum (32.167 m3 ha−1) in the southern aspect at 1300–1600 m a.s.l. The maximum carbon density (149.90 Mg ha−1) was found on the northern aspect and declined with increasing elevation from 123.20 to 74.78 Mg ha−1. Overall, the study establishes that the southern and western aspects are very low in carbon density, whereas the northern aspect represents higher biodiversity as well as carbon and nutrient stocks. Therefore, aspect and altitude should be given due importance for efficient managing of biodiversity and mitigating climate change. Full article
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Article
Research on the Impact of Land Circulation on the Income Gap of Rural Households: Evidence from CHIP
Land 2021, 10(8), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080781 - 25 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
With the continued development of the economy, the income gap among Chinese rural households continues to widen. The land system plays a decisive role in developing “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” and land circulation is a factor in the increase in income inequality [...] Read more.
With the continued development of the economy, the income gap among Chinese rural households continues to widen. The land system plays a decisive role in developing “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” and land circulation is a factor in the increase in income inequality among farm households. Based on the 2013 China Household Income Project (CHIP), this article used the re-centered influence function (RIF) regression method to empirically test the impact of rural land circulation on the income gap of rural households in China in three regions: the central, eastern and western regions. The quantile regression tested the impact mechanism of income inequality of rural households from the perspective of labor mobility and land circulation. The empirical results showed that land circulation increases the income inequality of rural households. The theoretical mechanism test proved that the dynamic relationship between land circulation and labor mobility increases rural household income. However, this increase has a greater effect on rural households with a high income and a small effect on rural households with a low income, resulting in a further widening of the income gap. Therefore, while increasing the income of rural households through land circulation, the government should also consider income equity. Finally, this article puts forward the policies and opinions on land reform and provides a brief discussion on the future direction of development. Full article
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Article
Net Ecosystem Exchange of Carbon Dioxide in Rice-Spring Wheat System of Northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains
Land 2021, 10(7), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070701 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Rice growing under anaerobic conditions followed by spring wheat under an aerobic environment differentially impact the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in rice-wheat systems of the north-western Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). This is the first estimation of the NEE in a [...] Read more.
Rice growing under anaerobic conditions followed by spring wheat under an aerobic environment differentially impact the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in rice-wheat systems of the north-western Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). This is the first estimation of the NEE in a rice-spring wheat sequence via the eddy covariance technique in the north-western Indo-Gangetic Plains, which was partitioned into gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (RE) and correlated with the environmental variables. Higher CO2 uptake of −10.43 g C m−2 d−1 was observed in wheat during heading as compared to −7.12 g C m−2 d−1 in rice. The net uptake of CO2 was 25% lower in rice. The average daily NEE over the crop season was −3.74 and −5.01 g C m−2 d−1 in rice and wheat, respectively. The RE varied from 0.07–9.00 g C m−2 d−1 in rice and from 0.05–7.09 g C m−2 d−1 in wheat. The RE was positively correlated with soil temperature at 5 cm depth (0.543, p < 0.01) in rice and with air temperature (0.294, p < 0.01) in wheat. The GPP was positively correlated with air temperature (0.129, p < 0.05) and negatively correlated with vapor pressure deficit (VPD) (−0.315, p < 0.01) in rice. In wheat, GPP was positively correlated with air temperature (0.444, p < 0.01) and soil moisture (0.471, p < 0.01). The rate of GPP over the crop duration was nearly the same in both rice and wheat, however, the RE was higher in rice as compared to wheat, thus, the ratio of cumulative RE/GPP was 0.51 in rice and much lower at 0.34 in spring wheat. Rice contributed 46% and 43% to the annual totals of RE and GPP, respectively, while spring wheat contributed 36% and 51%. The NEE of CO2 was higher in spring wheat at −576 g C m−2 d−1 as compared to −368 g C m−2 in rice. Thus, while estimating the carbon sink potential in the intensively cultivated northern IGP, we need to consider that spring wheat may be a moderately stronger sink of CO2 as compared to rice in the rice-wheat system. Full article
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Article
Stand Structure, Biomass and Carbon Storage in Gmelina arborea Plantation at Agricultural Landscape in Foothills of Eastern Himalayas
Land 2021, 10(4), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040387 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1687
Abstract
In the modern era, Gmelina arborea plantations are a hotspot of future research because of their high carbon sequestration potential. The present work was conducted during 2018 to 2020 on a young unmanaged Gmelina farm to understand the ecosystem’s carbon and its dynamics. [...] Read more.
In the modern era, Gmelina arborea plantations are a hotspot of future research because of their high carbon sequestration potential. The present work was conducted during 2018 to 2020 on a young unmanaged Gmelina farm to understand the ecosystem’s carbon and its dynamics. The study area was categorized into three age classes: ≤5, 5–10, and 10–15 years. In a plantation, Gmelina trees (10%) were randomly selected while other trees (90%) were also taken into the consideration for ecosystem carbon. A stratified random nested quadrate sampling method was adopted for analyzing other vegetation forms under study. Overall, 51 individual species in the studied Gmelina farm were found which includes 23 tree species, 7 shrub species, 16 herbs, 2 climbers, and 3 species of ferns. The estimated quantitative vegetation parameters and diversity indices indicate that the plant assemblages were heterogeneous with native diverse species evenly distributed with fairly higher densities, frequencies, and abundance. Herbs were the most important species followed by shrubs and trees. Consequently, with the increasing age of plantation, the richness of plant species increased. Soil properties were significantly influenced by the age of the plantation but exhibited no discreet trend. Total biomass density and total carbon density increased with increasing plantation age while no drastic variation was found in available soil organic carbon (SOC) because of insignificant variability in litter production. Total carbon, available SOC (up to 60 cm depth) and ecosystem carbon in the three age class plantations fell in the ranges of 54.51–59.91, 48.18–55.73, and 104.81–110.77 Mg ha−1, respectively. The carbon sequestration potential of Gmelina arborea is higher compared to other reported species and highly supportive of converting unutilized agricultural landscapes to reduce the atmospheric carbon dioxide in future. Full article
Article
Environmental Regulations, the Industrial Structure, and High-Quality Regional Economic Development: Evidence from China
Land 2020, 9(12), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120517 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2154
Abstract
Environmental regulation is an important means of restraining enterprises and protecting the environment. Rationalization of environmental regulatory policies can promote high-quality regional economic development. The optimization and upgrading of the industrial structure has an intermediary effect on the impact of environmental regulations on [...] Read more.
Environmental regulation is an important means of restraining enterprises and protecting the environment. Rationalization of environmental regulatory policies can promote high-quality regional economic development. The optimization and upgrading of the industrial structure has an intermediary effect on the impact of environmental regulations on the high-quality development of the regional economy. After collating and analyzing previous research, this article proposes to classify 30 Chinese provinces into regions with higher than the national average HDI (human development index) and lower than the national average HDI based on the average HDI of Chinese provinces. We explore the mediating effect of industrial structure on environmental regulation and high-quality regional economic development. The model passed the full-sample robustness test and the robustness test with GDP as the replacement variable. The empirical results show that environmental regulations of different intensities have different effects on the quality of regional economic development. The effect of environmental regulations on development quality is mainly mediated through the transformation and upgrading of the industrial structure. Enterprises need reasonable incentives from environmental regulations to transform and upgrade. The mediating effect of the industrial structure on environmental regulations is greater in regions with below-average HDI values than in regions with above-average HDI values, which shows that the industrial structure is the mechanism underlying the effect of environmental regulations on the quality of regional economic development. This result proves that adjusting environmental regulatory policies can effectively promote the upgrading of industrial structure, thereby promoting high-quality regional economic development. Based on this, the article puts forward several policy recommendations. Full article
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Article
Land Financialization, Uncoordinated Development of Population Urbanization and Land Urbanization, and Economic Growth: Evidence from China
Land 2020, 9(12), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120481 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
In recent years, it has become common practice for Chinese local governments to inject land assets into financing platform companies and use them as mortgage or credit guarantees to obtain bank loans and issue urban investment bonds, which is known as “land financialization”. [...] Read more.
In recent years, it has become common practice for Chinese local governments to inject land assets into financing platform companies and use them as mortgage or credit guarantees to obtain bank loans and issue urban investment bonds, which is known as “land financialization”. This study investigates the impact and mechanism of land financialization on the uncoordinated development of population urbanization and land urbanization in China. Theoretical analysis and empirical analysis results based on the data of prefecture-level cities in China from 2006 to 2015 demonstrate that land financialization by local governments is a significant cause of the uncoordinated development of population urbanization and land urbanization, and the pressure of urban economic development will strengthen this negative impact. Extended analysis further reveals that in areas where population urbanization and land urbanization are uncoordinated, land financialization, while promoting urban spatial expansion, will lower land use efficiency and have an inverted U-shaped influence on economic growth due to a weak agglomeration effect. The above conclusion shows that urbanization driven by debt-based investment is unsustainable. Efforts should be made to establish a financialization system that propels sound urbanization and to build a stable input linkage between land financialization and the supply of urban public service. Full article
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Review

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Review
Social Vulnerability Assessment for Landslide Hazards in Malaysia: A Systematic Review Study
Land 2021, 10(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030315 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3300
Abstract
Landslides represent one of the world’s most dangerous and widespread risks, annually causing thousands of deaths and billions of dollars worth of damage. Building on and around hilly areas in many regions has increased, and it poses a severe threat to the physical [...] Read more.
Landslides represent one of the world’s most dangerous and widespread risks, annually causing thousands of deaths and billions of dollars worth of damage. Building on and around hilly areas in many regions has increased, and it poses a severe threat to the physical infrastructure and people living within such zones. Quantitative assessment of social vulnerability in Malaysia is worrying because it has been given less attention than hazard-related studies. Therefore, this study’s objective is to find out the indicators used for social vulnerability assessment in the context of a landslide in Malaysia. The analysis is critical for understanding the measures of social vulnerability, given that the incorporation of climate change and disaster risk mitigation issues in urban planning and management are considered priorities in ensuring a stable population growth and avoiding economic disruption. A systematic study on the Scopus and Web of Science repositories was conducted based on the PRISMA Report analysis method. This article concluded that there are six important indicators of social vulnerability in the context of landslide in Malaysia. Full article
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