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Personal profile

Research interests

I am Physical Geography PhD student interesting in understanding the emissions and climate mitiagion potential within the land use sector in the tropics, especially the Brazilian Amazon. 

PhD background and aim: 

The key outcome from the Paris Agreement was an international agreement to hold “the increase of global average temperatures to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and … to limit this increase to 1.5C”. Many studies have shown that to achieve this goal requires not only reductions in CO2 emissions but also an increase in removals by carbon sinks such as forests. My PhD focuses on two components within the Land Use sector. The first is improving understanding of the reasons for differences between land use change emissions estimates, such as from deforestation, from different methods. My second focus is on the mitigation potential of regrowing (Secondary) forests within the Brazilian Amazon and how the methods applied in this research could be used by others. 

Methodology: 

In line with the two-part focus of my PhD the methods are split up accordingly.  Firstly, I am comparing the different methods used to measure land-based emissions and removals of CO2 including an analysis of the science and country policy-based methods. My work builds on a globally aggregated study that explored some regional breakdown, by comparing different regions in more detail enabling a deeper understanding of regional differences in the methods used. The results will facilitate in improving (1) the accuracy of the Global Carbon Stocktake expected to happen every five years as part of the Paris Agreement and (2) our understanding of the land sector’s mitigation potential within a post-Paris world. I apply a Tropical focus, primarily on emissions from the land use sector in Brazil, the country with the largest emissions in this sector.  Secondly, I used a remote-sensing based approach to identify secondary forests and their ages in the Brazilian Amazon. Following this I will use further remote sensing products measuring Aboveground Carbon to construct regrowth curves of secondary forest with age. The impact of fires and drought on the regrowth of the forest will be explored. I will also assess whether the products used in this study can be applied in other tropical countries with the intention of being used by countries’ Greenhouse Gas emissions inventory compilers.

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Research Output

  • 1 Article (Academic Journal)

Benchmark maps of 33 years of secondary forests age for Brazil

Heinrich, V. H. A., 14 Aug 2020, In : Scientific Data.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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