Exploring how accelerated changes in land use and anthropogenic biomes affect carbon output
Simone Rawal ’20, Kathmandu, Nepal
Major: Environmental Geology
Minor: Computer Science
Land use is at the center of one of the most vexing challenges for the coming decades. The consequences of land use change due to the never-ending demands of the world’s population has had unintended consequences. Six anthromes are being used to integrate humans into global ecology. They are Settlements, Villages, Croplands, Rangeland, Forests, and Barren Land. Due to India’s exponential population growth and Nepal’s geographical diversity, these countries have been chosen as the area of study. Five additional Southeast Asian countries are included for comparison.
Carbon emissions as a result of anthropogenic land use over the pre-industrial Holocene may have had a significant impact on the global carbon cycle. To better understand this impact, each of the six anthromes will be assigned with an average carbon output, which will be calculated using ArcGIS. Ranking these anthromes will allow us to investigate the influence of human activities on carbon and land use and further explore questions related to human-induced irreversible changes. Building off of Ruddiman’s ‘Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis’, the aim of this project is to contribute to a better understanding of the role of humans in the Earth’s climate system during the Holocene.