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Dr Jo House

Land use change, climate change and climate policy.

I am a Reader in Environmental Science and Policy with 25 years of research experience in environmental change, land-use and climate interactions, the carbon cycle and feedbacks, ecosystem services and climate policy.  My science specialism is in land and climate interactions, including emissions of carbon dioxide from land use change (e.g. deforestation), climate mitigation potential from the land (e.g. afforestation, bioenergy), and implications of science for policy. I have over 40 journal publications (incl. Nature and Science), H-index 23. Extensive experience in knowledge exchange, policy advice and science impact. I am a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for which we shared the Nobel Prize in 2007.  I was recently seconded for a year to the Government Office for Science as Head of Climate Advice, and regularly give advice to the UK Government and other organistations.

My research focuses on the climatic impacts of forestry, other land use and land cover change; mitigation of climate change in the land sector including avoided deforestation, forestry and bioenergy; climate mitigation scenarios; the carbon cycle; and policy implications.  Land use change (mainly deforestation) accounted for around a third of historical man-made carbon dioxide emissions since 1850. Today the land sector accounts for around 10% of carbon dioxide emissions, and about 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions when methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture are included.  The land is also a natural sink for around a third of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions (fossil fuels plus deforestation). 196 countries recently signed the Paris Climate Agreement to limit warming to 2 degrees. About a quarter of the mitigation countries have pledged comes from land sector activities. Country pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions) so far are insufficient to limit warming to 2 degrees.  The aim of my research is to provide a better evidence base for climate policy on climate mitigation targets and land based mitigation options.


Research keywords

  • Earth System science
  • global environmental change
  • climate change
  • environment
  • carbon cycle
  • land use change
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • forests
  • bioenergy
  • climate impacts
  • climate mitigation
  • climate policy