INPE-EM: LAND COVER CHANGES GREENHOUSE GASES (GHG) EMISSION ESTIMATE

INPE-EM system (INPE - Emission Model) is a service of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) which aims to generate annual estimates of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by land cover change in Brazil in a spatially explicit way. The current system version provides annual estimates of emissions for the Brazilian Amazon based on the PRODES system data.

Estimates are available of 1st Order (assuming the simplification that 100% of the emissions occur at the time of the land cover change) and 2nd Order (which represent the gradual process of liberation and carbon absorption as occurs in fact).

The 2nd Order emissions estimates have an attenuated response in relation to deforestation rate fluctuations (rises and falls), as they carry the influence of historical emissions, i.e. the processes of decomposition/burning of the remaining biomass of deforestation occurred in the years before. Estimates of 2nd Order represent the emission process with greater accuracy and scientific basis. The 1st Order estimates are typically used to report emissions in a simple and intuitive way.

The current version of INPE-EM system presents separately gross and net estimates: (a) gross emissions derived from clear cut deforestation based on the PRODES system data, (b) net emission estimates considering dynamics of secondary vegetation in deforested areas, based on the TerraCLASS System data and recent literature (Almeida, 2009). In addition to the annual estimates of CO2, we began to produce estimates of CH4, N2O, CO and NOx.

For compatibility with official estimates of the Brazilian Government emissions, from now on the system will use the biomass data produced for the Brazilian Communications to the UNFCCC, as well as for the purpose of emission reduction estimates (REDD+).

INPE-EM 3.1 presents a first attempt to estimate greenhouse emissions due to forest degradation. This new component implements 1st Order emissions (supposes that 100% of the emissions occur at the time of degradation).

INPE-EM is being made available, under a GPL license. Please, cite Aguiar et al. (2012) if you use the whole framework in the TerraME modeling environment, or extract part of the code and implement it in another system.