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Sociedade e Estado

versão impressa ISSN 0102-6992versão On-line ISSN 1980-5462


SAWYER, Donald. Carbon flows in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes: a socioecosystemic view. Soc. estado. [online]. 2009, vol.24, n.1, pp.149-171. ISSN 1980-5462.

Most analyses of environmental issues use natural sciences in isolation, with little integration even among these sciences. Climate change, a national and international issue which is increasingly urgent, may be the environmental issue farthest removed from the social sciences. In spite of some attempts to include human dimensions or socioeconomic analysis, climate changes are usually dealt with by climatologists, meteorologists or ecologists in strictly biophysical terms. The approach used here to focus on the two largest Brazilian biomes is socioecosystemic, i.e. an integrated approach dealing with broad ecological and socioeconomic processes, rather than localized or sectoral approaches. In addition to interdisciplinarity, the article seeks to consider the national and global contexts, in spatial terms, and historical processes, looking back in time and toward the future. At first, a preliminary calculation of carbon emissions and fixation in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes is made, showing the unrecognized importance of the Cerrado. Various socioeconomic and environmental impacts are then identified in the processes under way, calling attention to interactions and inter-regional effects. The article concludes with proposals regarding research and public policy resulting from the socioecosystemic analysis.

Palavras-chave : Amazon; Cerrado; carbon flows; emissions; interdisciplinarity; socioecosystemic approach.

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