Joonghyeok Heo - "Geospatial Analysis of Additional Carbon Uptake and U.S. Biofuel Production"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Graham Institute North and Water Center, 214 S. State St., Suite 200 Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Please join us for a presentation on "Geospatial Analysis of Additional Carbon Uptake and U.S. Biofuel Production" by Joonghyeok Heo of the University of Michigan Energy Institute. 

This research focuses on measuring net ecosystem production (NEP) impacts of cropland shifts related to U.S. biofuel production at continental scale. Locally, NEP indicates how much CO2 has been transferred from the atmosphere to the land (including into any harvest) through plant growth net of biomass decomposition. The NEP provides a measure of the potential for a vegetated area to act as a carbon sink or to offset CO2 emitted elsewhere. We performed a spatially-explicit analysis of changes in cropland use across the conterminous United States using geographic information system (GIS) applications. Data from the satellite-derived U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cropland Data Layer (CDL) for the 2008-13 period were used to identify patterns of cultivation. We developed quantitative methods of spatio-temporal analysis to integrate all available data, including Annual Crop Production (ACP), and evaluate land-use and land-cover changes for cropland. The results show that temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of NEP are sensitive to the magnitudes of carbon embodied in crop harvests. Changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) on annual cropland are smaller in magnitude and in any case have a great deal of uncertainty. The results will enable evaluation of the relationship of terrestrial resources to the market and policy factors associated with biofuel production.

About the Speaker

Joonghyeok (Joon) Heo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  Dr. Heo currently works with the UMEI’s Energy and Climate project to conduct pioneering analyses and spatially explicit assessments of the terrestrial carbon cycle.  He is a recipient of the Dow Postdoctoral Sustainability Fellowship for 2015-2017. He is also interested in climate change impacts, land-use dynamics, water resources management, hydrological cycle and energy system.  His background includes hydrogeology, model simulation, GIS, remote sensing, geomorphology, geochemistry and environmental studies.  He completed his PhD in Geosciences at the Texas A&M University.