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Climate change, CO2 -- emissions, Data analysis, Discount rates, Economic development, Greenhouse effect, Inventory, Land, Natural resources


Delaware’s (DE) Climate Action Plan lays out a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 26% by 2025 but does not consider soil-based GHG emissions from land conversions. Consequently, DE’s climate action plan fails to account for the contribution of emissions from ongoing land development economic activity to climate change. Source attribution (SA) is a special field within the science of climate change attribution, which can generate “documentary evidence” (e.g., GHG emissions inventory, etc.). The combination of remote sensing and soil information data analysis can identify the source attribution of GHG emissions from land conversions for DE. Traditional attribution science starts with climate impacts, which are then linked to source attribution of GHG emissions. The most urgent need is not only to detect climate change impacts, but also to detect and attribute sources of climate change impacts. This study used a different approach that quantified past soil GHG emissions which are then available to support impact attribution. Study results provide accurate and quantitative spatio-temporal source attribution for likely GHG emissions, which can be included in the DE’s climate action plan. Including the impact of land conversion on GHG emissions is critical to mitigating climate impacts, because without a more complete source attribution it is not possible to meet overall emission reduction goals. Furthermore, the increased climate change impacts from land conversions are in a feedback loop where climate change can increase the rates of GHG emissions as part of these conversions. This study provides a spatially explicit methodology that could be applied to attribute past, future, or potential GHG emission impacts from land conversions that can be included in DE’s GHGs inventory and climate impact assessment.


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