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Climate Change and Irish Forestry EU Directors of Forestry 27- 28th March 2013 Eugene Hendrick.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Irish Forestry EU Directors of Forestry 27- 28th March 2013 Eugene Hendrick."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change and Irish Forestry EU Directors of Forestry th March 2013 Eugene Hendrick

2 Climate change forest policy/practice – framing issues Impacts: climate change models, information gaps (species’ performance, genetic variation etc.) – then adaptation and wood supply issues (species and quantity) and provision of other ecosystem services, native species, insect pests and diseases Mitigation – fuel/solid wood products debate, species composition in afforestation/reforestation, streamlining with other policy areas, sustaining mitigation long term – broadening the debate beyond sinks/sequestration to wood products and fuels – need for engagement with other sectors/policy areas

3 Climate change and forest sector impacts C4i model The climate will continue to warm, particularly in the summer and autumn seasons: possible increases of 3 to 4ºC towards the end of the century. The greatest warming will occur in the south and east of the country. Autumn and winter seasons will become wetter: increases in the range 15-25% towards the end of the century. Summers will become drier: 10-18% decrease towards the end of the century. Regional details remain elusive, due to the large uncertainty in local projections. The frequency of very intense cyclones affecting Ireland is likely to increase.

4 Climate change and the forest sector – impacts Issues Species suitability and yield – plantation forest resource provides opportunities to changes provenance species Native woodlands and species – genetic variation and gene flow - fragmentation Abiotic risks – windthrow, fire etc. Biotic pests and diseases Others?

5 Adaptation example - species suitability and yield CLIMADAPT CLIMADAPT - web-based decision support system (DSS) based on Ecological Site Classification (ESC) developed specifically for Irish forestry. It provides a decision support system, using soil and climatic information to assess species suitability and yield for individual sites under current and future climate change scenarios. Also includes a spatial analysis module for regional assessment of key environmental factors influencing species suitability and productivity.

6 Climate change mitigation and Irish forestry Three main areas: Forest sector Sequestration – 4-5 million tonnes of CO2 per year possible to end of century through continued afforestation to mid century and avoidance of deforestation – national emissions projected to be ca million tonnes of CO2 in 2020 Forest sector and other actors Renewable energy – already ca 30% of harvest (1 million cubic metres) used for energy directly and indirectly – potential to grow - energy/product debate Solid wood products – mainly OSB/Medite and sawnwood – cascade use gives best climate outcome – in theory – but regional and local supply/demand dynamics are strong drivers

7 Climate change mitigation and Irish forestry Policy coherence Part of a number of major drivers Need for balance and consideration of other ecosystem services


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