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CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPLICATIONS FOR SK FORESTRY AND AGRICULTURE Silvia Lac On behalf of: Saskatchewan Environmental Society Nature Saskatchewan.

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Presentation on theme: "CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPLICATIONS FOR SK FORESTRY AND AGRICULTURE Silvia Lac On behalf of: Saskatchewan Environmental Society Nature Saskatchewan."— Presentation transcript:

1 CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPLICATIONS FOR SK FORESTRY AND AGRICULTURE Silvia Lac On behalf of: Saskatchewan Environmental Society Nature Saskatchewan

2 Climate change prediction tools Global scale CC- GCMs (precipitation?) GCMs cannot represent terrestrial biomes- computer power? scale? biomes function? data? Timing? Location? Rate of changes? Benefits? GCMs CC predictions in analogy to historical records Past climatic events ≠ ↑CO 2 concentration

3 GCMs predictions for Canada Temperature will increase ↑temperature → ↑precipitation ↑precipitation < ↑evapotranspiration → droughts! Ecosystems migration northwards Biophysical response slower than migration rate Change in land use- agriculture replacing forestry

4 Predictions for SK forestry Boreal forest shrinks- ↓area, ↓biomass, ↓C stock, younger age-classes BF growth, productivity- ↑North, Central; ↓South Forestry? Wildlife? Communities? Forest physiological intolerance to CC: flowering, pollination, seed formation, germination, and competitive success Conifers? New species composition!

5 Predictions for SK forestry (cont.) Ongoing adaptation Spruce (Stewart et al., 1997), Aspen (Beaubien & Freeland, 2000) ↑Fire- frequency, duration, intensity ↑Insect disturbances- Alien- European & Asian? ↓disturbance cycles = ↓health and resiliency

6 Drought of ↓volume growth, ↑seedling mortality, ↑disturbance (fire, tent caterpillar, spruce budworm) Peatlands & wetlands can dry out (↑CO 2,↑CH 4 ) ↓wildlife habitat, ↓ecosystem health Wetlands ↓44%, ↓16% duck breeding population, ↑5-10 fold waterfowl mortality (PFRA, 2002) Predictions for SK forestry (cont.)

7 Recommended adaptation/mitigation strategies for SK forestry Prevent land use conversion to secondary/managed forest Restore degraded areas (wetlands and peatlands) Adjust policies- wildlife habitat, soil, water Plan industry technology shift to “clean” tech. Increase efficiency of C sequestration- products, recycling, rotation length, planting from seed, harvesting, site preparation

8 Recommended adaptation/mitigation strategies for SK forestry (cont.) ↑P rotection from disturbances- ↓response time (roads?) ↑R esearch and monitoring adaptation of vegetation and wildlife (disturbance regimes?) ↑P articipation in international monitoring efforts- Alien pests and wildlife Improve u nderstanding of climate change and models of regional/biome estimates

9 Predictions for SK agriculture Extended growing season- low moisture ↓Yields (10% to 30%)- summer x spring crops ↑Need for irrigation- long-term? Will water be available? ↑Dispute over good quality water ↑Insect infestation Will agriculture migrate north- soils available?

10 Recommended adaptation/mitigation strategies for SK agriculture Prevent land use conversion (wetlands and peatlands) Restore marginal land and disturbed croplands (native species) Policy- protect and monitor wildlife, soil, water ↓Tillage and ↓summer fallow- e.g. Indian Head- wheat under zero tillage had higher yields during droughts (Zentner et al., 2003).

11 Recommended adaptation/mitigation strategies for SK agriculture (cont.) ↑Farm diversification- e.g. Star City-wheat/canola 2002 (Lemke at al., 2003) Incorporate “clean” tech. - e.g. biogas power system (Mac Arthur, 2003) Improve or restrict use of pesticides Timing: Weed > economic injury level Calibrating sprayer between ≠ pesticides Non-chemical control (e.g. crop rotation, biological control) or integrated pest management

12 Improve manure management: Application method: Soil injection- liquid manure Surface application followed by soil incorporation- solid manure Timing: right after planting Storage: Sealed cover tank- liquid manure (at least 200 days) Covered storage pad- solid manure Recommended adaptation/mitigation strategies for SK agriculture (cont.)

13 Improve use of mineral fertilizers: Application method: Soil injection- liquid fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia Banding- dry fertilizer Timing: right after planting Avoid oversupply (discount manure nutrients) Soil test (at least 3 yrs intervals) Improve understanding of climate change and models of regional/biome estimates Recommended adaptation/mitigation strategies for SK agriculture (cont.)

14 Conclusions Community thinking = People + research + industry + government + non-governmental organizations People- improve consumption choices, reduce consumption; lifestyle sustainability Research- sustainable options Industry- ↑efficiency

15 Government Bring all players together (public education; public consultation process – government + industry + research + non-government organizations) Focus research on evaluation of sustainable options - international experience? Conservation of native biodiversity (species, genetic, ecosystem) and habitat Support changes (e.g. tax relief, subsidies, programmes) Raise community thinking to a GLOBAL level- exchange international experience (technology, policy, lifestyle) Conclusions (cont.)

16 Questions?


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