Sugar-cane areas in the core Cerrado region: Current and near-future occupation scenarios
Ribeiro, Federal University of Goias, email@example.com
Ferreira, Federal University of Goias, firstname.lastname@example.org
Potter, NASA AMES, email@example.com
Bustamante, University of Brasilia, firstname.lastname@example.org
In face of the global warming crisis, the search for alternative fuels has been intensified. In particular, the sugar-cane based ethanol production, which, besides the very competitive prices, offers lower GHG emissions, is undergoing a substantial expansion in Brazil, especially in the central portion of the country where most of the Cerrado biome is located. Thoroughly within the Cerrado limits, the State of Goias is certainly the one most severely threatened by this new agricultural frontier. In addition to the environmental impacts already observed (e.g. slash and burn practices, more land conversion, etc), significant changes in the land tenure structure and human dimensions are also expected, as new sugar cane plantations expands over previously established crops (e.g. soy bean), inducing labor migration, demand for new agricultural areas, urban growth, etc. In this study, the spatial distribution patterns of the areas occupied with sugar cane in the State of Goiás, as well as the ongoing expansion trends are investigated. Likewise, the possibility of identifying and monitoring these areas based on moderate resolution imagery is also being assessed. Preliminary results indicate an expansion trend in the pristine Vão do Paraná region (northeastern portion of the Goiás State) and temporal vegetation index signatures slightly distinct from the other dominant annual crops.