Research in Progress
Non-GHG Roles of Tropical Forests of South America
2019 - current
Coordinator: Carlos Nobre.
Senior researchers: Beatriz Oliveira, Humberto Ribeiro Rocha, Laura Simone Borma, Marcos Heil Costa, Paulo Nobre, Raoni Rajão
Postdoctoral students: Carolina Jaramillo, Geanderson Ambrose, Julia Arieira, Marcus Bottino, Nathalia Birth, Raianny Birth, Rayonil Carneiro, Richard van der Hoff
Master's students: Eduardo Fernandes, Josiane Silva, Yago Motta
Administrative and scientific support: Ailton Fabrício Neto
About 17% of the Amazon forest has been cleared mostly to be replaced by pastureland and grain crops. That figure is about 50% for the tropical savannas (Cerrado). By and large, the bulk of deforestation on those two biomes took place in the last 50 years with the westward expansion of the commodities frontier in Brazil and east-of-the-Andes expansion of the Andean countries. The Atlantic Rainforest, on the other hand, has been altered by human activities for several centuries and only about 12% remains. Most of the studies of the role of tropical forests deal with the very important role of tropical forests and large carbon storage and sinks. This is in part due to the obvious role of all forests as a natural solution for mitigating climate change. However, less attention has been devoted to assessing other co-benefits to sustainability policies of maintaining and even restoring tropical forests This project will make a detailed review of the non-carbon roles of tropical forests of South America in terms of climate regulation and stability. These other non-carbon roles of tropical forests can have practical importance in mitigating climate change and a number of other ‘ecosystems services’ such as protecting biodiversity, supporting water security, increasing resilience of agriculture to climate change, among other. The project will address the role of the Amazon Forest in water cycle recycling, rainfall production, temperature regulation and remote impacts. It will also include the role of the Atlantic Rainforest and of the tropical savannas of central South America (Cerrado).
Integrated System for Surface and Underground Water Resources Management in Western Bahia
2017 - current
Team: Marcos Heil Costa (coordinator); Undergraduate Students (3); Graduate Student (3) Researchers (7) Others (3);
Water, Food and Energy Security in Western Bahia
2017 - current
Team: Marcos Heil Costa (coordinator); Undergraduate Students (5); Graduate Student (1) Researchers (7);
West Bahia is one of the most active agricultural frontiers in the world. With growth of 352% in planted area and 763% in irrigated area between 1985 and 2015, the region draws the attention of the productive and preservation sectors in the search for alternatives that prioritize the preservation of the remaining native vegetation as well as the increase of production agricultural. The currently identified solution is to intensify local agriculture, with increased irrigated land, leading to increased incomes, jobs, tax collection, human development, regional economic sustainability, but it is also expected to save land from deforestation in the region, contributing to the preservation of regional biological diversity. This solution satisfies at least ODS 2, 6 and 17, and depending on the results, also ODS 8 and 15. However, intensive use of water resources for irrigation can lead, in very dry years, water, energy and food insecurity - Irrigation is an activity that not only consumes a lot of water and energy, but also produces food. In this project we propose to develop, test and evaluate hydroclimatic forecasting systems to enable local governance and ensure the water, food and energy security of western Bahia in very dry years. To achieve these objectives, this interdisciplinary team will use multiple methodologies, including five different types of satellites, five model types, field data collection (irrigated agriculture experiment, surface hydrological, hydrogeological and economic data), interviews and even Official Journal information. Demand for water resources for irrigation in the region will be estimated using three different methodologies to calculate evapotranspirometric demand plus the estimate of irrigated area by remote sensing. Four different hydroclimatic forecasting models will be developed and tested, three of them to predict river flow during the recession period as a function of water stored in the aquifer, while the fourth model will identify when the recession period will end. This information will allow regional decision makers to decide in a timely manner how much area can be irrigated each year,
reducing water, food and energy insecurity. Models with satisfactory performance will be implemented on an online platform for easy access by decision makers. In addition, the economic impacts of the functioning of this system on society will be evaluated. To this end, data will be collected to represent rural activity in the region, considering three technological levels, and models will be developed and tested to optimize not only the gross margin at the farm level, but also at the regional level, ensuring that not only the environmental sustainability, but also economic and social sustainability. The results of the project will be disseminated in two workshops, one in Barreiras - Bahia state, for selected farmers and technicians in western Bahia, and another in Salvador - BA, for regional leaders, government technicians, and representatives. organized civil society, the business sector (agribusiness) and universities.