Italy Project Notice - Socio-Environmental Trade-Offs And Synergies In Terrestrial Carbon-Water Coupling In A Changing Planet

Project Notice

PNR 62467
Project Name Socio-environmental trade-offs and synergies in terrestrial carbon-water coupling in a changing Planet
Project Detail Terrestrial carbon and water cycles are strongly coupled. Rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change have accelerated terrestrial water cycle, causing reduced soil moisture, and more frequent and severe droughts. Such environmental changes have modified vegetation functions, endangering the stability of terrestrial carbon budget. Human activities, such as deforestation and intensive water use, have further influenced carbon-water coupling by exacerbating external perturbations. A weakening of the terrestrial carbon sink induced by progressive water stress conditions could further destabilize the climate system with potential dramatic consequences for human societies. Despite its importance, the sensitivities of terrestrial carbon-water dynamics to socio-environmental changes remain elusive. The complexity of the topic, its interdisciplinarity, together with knowledge and methodological gaps in observing, understanding, and predicting carbon-water coupling, have hampered so far substantial progresses. TYPIC aims to respond to such emerging global challenge by addressing two key questions: How does terrestrial carbon-water coupling respond to socio-environmental changes? How have socio-environmental trade-offs and synergies influenced the trajectories of terrestrial carbon-water dynamics over the last decades? Here, I propose to investigate the subject with a novel approach that builds on the integration of Earth observations with big-data technologies. Satellite retrievals will be used in combination with advanced statistical tools to quantify spatial and temporal variations in terrestrial carbon-water coupling at the global scale. The underlying socio-environmental mechanisms will be disentangled through causal inference methods. Hotspot areas subject to amplification or compensatory effects between environmental and human factors will be finally identified to assist the development of land-based mitigation actions and the long-term sustainability of water resources.
Funded By European Union (EU)
Country Italy , Southern Europe
Project Value EUR 188,590

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