Chuan Liao, Kerstin Nolte, Jonathan A. Sullivan, Daniel G. Brown, Jann Lay, Christof Althoff, Arun Agrawal
Carbon emissions from the global land rush and potential mitigation
Environment and climate change
Global drivers and carbon emissions associated with large-scale land transactions have been poorly investigated. Here we examine major factors behind such transactions (income, agricultural productivity, availability of arable land and water scarcity) and estimate potential carbon emissions under different levels of deforestation. We find that clearing lands transacted between 2000 and 2016 (36.7 Mha) could have emitted ~2.26 GtC, but constraining land clearing to historical deforestation rates would reduce emissions related to large-scale land transactions to ~0.81 GtC.