Ecosystem Climate Regulation Services Calculator
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README.md

This is a fork of the Ecosystem Climate Regulation Services Calculator found at https://github.com/ebimodeling/ghgvc used for Ruby for Good

Ecosystem Climate Regulation Services Calculator

This is the source code repository for the Ecosystem Climate Regulation Services Calculator. Contributions, comments, bug reports, and feature requests are welcome!

Setup & Installation

This project uses Docker to manage dependencies.

  1. Install Docker Community Edition for your OS

  2. Clone the rails application:

    git clone git@github.com:rubyforgood/ghgvc.git --depth 1 && cd ghgvc

Building & running the application

Ensure Docker is running, the ghgvc app is cloned, and you've navigated to your ghgvc repo.

  1. Build Docker:

    docker-compose build

  2. Download the required netcdf files

    docker-compose run --rm ghgvcr ./download-netcdf.sh

    This stores the netcdf data in a volume that will persist across containers

  3. Bundle install:

    docker-compose run --rm app bundle

    This stores the downloaded gems in a volume that will persist across containers

  4. Run the application:

    docker-compose up app

  5. Navigate to http://localhost:3000/ in your web browser.

  • If clicking on the map does not return ecosystems, ensure that data was downloaded:
docker-compose run --rm ghgvcr bash
cd data
ls
  • This should show a file name_indexed_ecosystems.json, and two directories: maps and netcdf. If it is empty, try:
docker-compose down # stop everything
docker-compose up get_data # should re-download & un-zip the data
  • If there is still an issue, try:
docker-compose down # stop everything
docker-compose volume rm ghgvc_netcdf-data # removes the volume
docker-compose up get_data # should re-download & un-zip the data
  • ghgvc_netcdf-data name should be the name of the volume. If that command fails, try docker volume ls and look for one that matches on the netcdf-data
  • If all of the above fails (if you can't force it to stop with docker-compose or docker commands), try restarting either docker or your machine (sometimes both; it usually means the container was put into a state that it shouldn't be).

Development & Test

  • Enter the Rails console:
docker-compose run --rm app bin/rails c
  • Run all tests:
docker-compose run --rm app rspec
  • Run a singular test:
docker-compose run --rm app rspec spec/<test file path>

About the Ecosystem Climate Regulation Services Calculator

Ecosystems regulate climate through both greenhouse-gas exchange with the atmosphere (biogeochemical mechanisms) and regulation of land surface energy and water balances (biophysical mechanisms). The exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (N2O, CH4) between ecosystems and the atmosphere influences climate. For example, forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow, croplands release the potent greenhouse gas N2O as a byproduct of fertilization, and deforestation releases large amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. Beyond this, ecosystems also influence climate through absorption of incoming solar radiation (dependent upon their reflectivity, or albedo) and the transfer of heat by evaporation (latent heat flux-a process analogous to sweating). Efforts aimed at climate change mitigation through land management quantify greenhouse gas exchange, but do not account for the biophysical exchanges, which in some cases can be quite significant.

Recently, researchers proposed an integrated index of the climate regulation value (CRV) of terrestrial ecosystems (Anderson-Teixeira et al., 2012a; Hungate & Hampton, 2012), which combines a previous metric of the greenhouse gas value of ecosystems (GHGV; Anderson-Teixeira & DeLucia, 2011) with biophysical climate regulation services to show the climate regulation services of ecosystems in CO2 equivalents - a common currency for carbon accounting. This is the most comprehensive existing metric of ecosystem climate regulation services, and it sets the stage for thorough accounting of climate regulation services in initiatives aimed at climate protection through land management (Anderson-Teixeira et al., 2011; Hungate & Hampton, 2012).

The CRV calculator is a publically available web-based tool for estimating CRV (or GHGV) for ecosystems globally. It uses global maps of climatically significant ecosystem properties (for example, biomass, soil carbon, biophysical services) to provide location-specific CRV estimates.

Applications

The Ecosystem Climate Regulation Services Calculator has potential applications in a variety of fields. Below are some examples.

Conservation

This calculator can be used to determine which areas of potential conservation interest are the most beneficial in terms of their net effect on the climate. This information can then be used to help make land conservation decisions and inform the general public about the climate benefits of conserving lands.

Sustainability Science

The calculator can be used to evaluate the climate consequences of various land use decisions. For instance, the calculator can be used to evaluate the impacts of various bioenergy production strategies (Anderson-Teixeira et al., 2012b; Buckeridge et al., 2012). It could also be used in determining the value of land when designing infrastructure projects, such as dams or highways.

Education

The calculator can be used to educate students or the general public about the climate regulation services of ecosystems around the globe. For example, by using the calculator to research ecosystems in areas where land use change is occurring, students will gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding land use and conservation decisions. They can also use the calculator to learn more about the local ecosystems with which they are familiar.

Business

Increasing public interest in sustainable business practices creates a need for conscientious businesses to evaluate the climate impact of business decisions, including those that affect land use patterns. For example, the calculator might be used to evaluate the climate impacts of land use change related to bioenergy production.

Policy

Policy decisions regarding the conservation of domestic lands or those affecting international land use patterns can benefit from the most complete information possible regarding the impact of those decisions on climate. Policies aimed at climate protection through land management, including REDD+ and bioenergy sustainability standards, account for greenhouse gasses but not for biophysical processes that can sometimes outweigh greenhouse gas effects (Anderson-Teixeira et al., 2011, 2012a). This calculator incorporates both greenhouse gases and biophysical climate regulation services, thereby providing a better understanding of the climate impacts of various policies.

Further Reading

Anderson-Teixeira KJ, Snyder PK, DeLucia EH (2011) Do biofuels life cycle analyses accurately quantify the climate impacts of biofuels-related land use change? Illinois Law Review, 2011, 589-622.

Anderson-Teixeira KJ, Snyder PK, Twine TE, Cuadra SV, Costa MH, DeLucia EH (2012a) Climate-regulation services of natural and agricultural ecoregions of the Americas. Nature Climate Change, 2, 177-181.

Anderson-Teixeira KJ, Duval BD, Long SP, DeLucia EH (2012b) Biofuels on the landscape: Is land sharing? preferable to land sparing? Ecological Applications, 22, 2035-2048.

Anderson-Teixeira KJ, DeLucia EH (2011) The greenhouse gas value of ecosystems. Global Change Biology, 17, 425-438.

Buckeridge MS, Souza AP, Arundale RA, Anderson-Teixeira KJ, DeLucia E (2012) Ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil: a "midway"? strategy for increasing ethanol production while maximizing environmental benefits. GCB Bioenergy, 4, 119-126.

Hungate BA, Hampton HM (2012) Ecosystem services: Valuing ecosystems for climate. Nature Climate Change, 2, 151-152.