Presentation on theme: "Forestry and Climate Change - issues and potential indicators For UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists, Edinburgh, 21-22 May 2007 Simon Gillam, UK."— Presentation transcript:
Forestry and Climate Change - issues and potential indicators For UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists, Edinburgh, 21-22 May 2007 Simon Gillam, UK
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20072 Forests and climate change 1. Carbon - how do trees affect the carbon balance? 2. How else do trees impact on climate? 3. How does changing climate affect trees and forest habitats?
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20073 1. Carbon balance Trees sequester carbon as they grow Trees are a store of carbon Changes to soil carbon - positive and negative Carbon released by forest fires or deforestation Wood fuel can replace fossil fuels Wood products can replace steel, concrete, etc What else? …more later
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20074 2. Some other impacts of forests If climate hotter, then shade from trees (e.g. streets and towns) becomes more valuable … but also forests trap heat. If more storms, forests can reduce impacts of flooding If water shortages, forests may be a shield against evaporation?... but conifers also take up more water (not broadleaves?)
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20075 3. Some effects of climate change Warmer climate - more rapid tree growth Changes to natural ranges for some species Insects and diseases move into new areas More storms - more windblow What else?
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20076 Carbon balance - what value/tonne? Per tonne carbon or per tonne CO 2 Social cost of carbon: wide range of estimates for current value carbon trading price not a good proxy should it increase over time? or should it be higher in the short run, because of claimed urgency of action? discounting to get Net Present Value?
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20077 Carbon balance - woodfuel Common approach is just to estimate fossil fuel carbon saved. This assumes that the woodfuel is carbon neutral. Carbon emissions from woodfuel similar to fossil fuel; so need to consider whether the carbon sequestration balances the emissions. Depends on where the woodfuel comes from...
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20078 Carbon balance - SRC Short rotation coppice Carbon sequestered balances carbon burned Additional benefit from carbon stored while growing Carbon stored in roots and stumps Possible carbon losses from soil disturbance, and from machinery for harvesting and transport.
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 20079 Carbon balance - existing forests In short run, reduces carbon stored in forests If part of good management (e.g. thinning), rate of carbon sequestration / hectare may be little affected (fewer trees left, each growing more) If bringing neglected woodlands into management, may remove wood that would otherwise decay, and improve tree growth But if badly managed, may remove growing trees that would otherwise sequester carbon in the future - worse than using fossil fuels.
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 200710 Indicators - how to capture all this? Carbon - sequestration rate, as well as amount stored? Wood fuel - quantity used, by source - JWEE? Other wood products - sustainable use? Anything for other impacts of forests (e.g water - ecosystem services)? For impacts on forests, are forest damage indicators sufficient?
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 200711 Public Opinion Survey Q5 How much of an impact do you think climate change will have on the UK? Large impact Slight impact No impact at all Don't know
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 200712 Public Opinion Survey Q6 Would you agree or disagree with the following statements about the ways in which forests and woodlands in the UK can impact on climate change? (1) strongly agree (2) agree (3) neither agree or disagree (4) disagree (5) strongly disagree don't know
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 200713 Public Opinion Survey Q6 Trees are good because they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in wood Cutting down forests and woodland makes climate change worse, even if they are replanted Using wood for fuel is better for climate change than using fuels such as coal and gas Using wood for fuel makes climate change worse because it releases carbon dioxide Using wood for building is better for climate change than using materials such as concrete and steel. The UK could offset all its greenhouse gas emissions by planting more trees
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 200714 Public Opinion Survey Q7 Do you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding how UK forests and woodlands should be managed in response to the threat of climate change? (1) strongly agree (2) agree (3) neither agree or disagree (4) disagree (5) strongly disagree don't know
Simon Gillam for UNECE/FAO ToS May 200715 Public Opinion Survey Q7 There is nothing that anyone could do that would make any difference No action is needed; let nature take its course A lot more trees should be planted Trees should not be felled in any circumstances, even if they are replaced Different types of trees should be planted that will be more suited to future climates More information should be provided about the ways in which wood can be used to lessen our impact on the environment