By Guy Lomax
Land is fundamentally important to many dimensions of climate change response and merits a more central position in the climate change mitigation discourse. Earth’s biosphere and soils play a central role in the carbon cycle, and land also mediates many anticipated impacts of climate change on human well-being. Earth’s ecosystems have historically lost hundreds of billions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere, and there is real potential to sesequester a substantial fraction of this carbon at costs comparable to emissions reduction measures. Land restoration thus represents a crucial opportunity for mitigation. Drawdown of carbon is also a core part of adapting food systems, livelihoods, and ecosystem services to future climate changes that may already have been set in motion by elevated greenhouse gas (GHG) levels today. Finally, restoring productivity to degraded land and sustainable intensification will also be essential in the future to avoiding further destruction of natural ecosystems under rising demands for food and energy.
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About the author:
Guy Lomax first developed his interest in climate change and earth systems science through his undergraduate studies in Natural Sciences at Cambridge, specialising in Earth Sciences. After graduating, he joined Imperial College London’s MSc course in Sustainable Energy Futures, which emphasised a cross-disciplinary approach to the challenges of climate change and energy. Guy’s MSc thesis, for which he received a mark of distinction, looked at the wider challenges of combining Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage. He is currently working with the Virgin Group on the Virgin Earth Challenge, applying this whole-system approach to the emerging field of Greenhouse Gas Removal.