Forest response to climate change
Forest response to climate change Over the past two decades, a number of studies have examined the likely response of forests to projected climate change. The consensus of these studies, as described in the second IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessment and other studies (e.g., Houghton et al. 1996: Smith and Tirpak 1989), is that dieback of forest is likely and could occur on regional scales. Deforestation of certain regions is even predicted by some analyses. If such events are indeed probable, they have significant policy implications. projected dieback of the southern boreal forest, for example, could have major regional economic repercussions. Range shrinkage of certain forest species is projected to be so severe that extinctions may occur. Such projections lend weight to calls for reduction of fossil fuel consumption. Although all models are necessarily only approximations of reality, the fact that so many different models have all predicted similar catastrophic results for different regions tends to lend credence to their dire predictions. Thus, the dominant view is that, in spite of uncertainty, in the models, the general trends they project are probably correct. This paper argues that, as a class, these models exhibit catastrophic effects. That is, they tend to predict forest dieback more »
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