Projections of future climate for Europe, Uruguay and China with implications on forestry

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/305992
Title: Projections of future climate for Europe, Uruguay and China with implications on forestry
Author: Venäläinen, Ari; Ruosteenoja, Kimmo; Lehtonen, Ilari
Date: 2019-10
Belongs to series: Raportteja – Rapporter – Reports 2019:3
ISBN: 978-952-336-085-3
ISSN: 0782-6079
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/305992
Abstract: This report deals with projected climatic changes in four areas of operation of the UPM-Kymmene company: Finland, southern Germany, Uruguay and eastern China. The implications of the projected changes for forestry, including forest growth and productivity and possible climate change induced disturbances, are discussed as well. Climate projections have been derived from the output of 28 global climate models. Analyses focus on the RCP4.5 greenhouse gas scenario that represents an alternative of moderately large emissions. Mainly, projections calculated for the period 2040–2069 (relative to 1971–2000) have been examined. All the models analyzed simulate higher temperatures for the future. However, the degree of warming varies quite a lot among the models. For many other climate variables, like precipitation and incident solar radiation, even the sign of the future change can be uncertain. Even so, in the regions examined mean precipitation is more likely to increase than decrease, except for southern Germany in summer and early autumn, Uruguay in Southern Hemisphere winter and spring and China in late autumn. Rising temperatures enhance evaporation and increase drought risks despite modest increases in precipitation. In some seasons, both the intense rainfall events and dry periods are projected to become more severe. In recent decades, forest resources have been increasing in Europe. Especially in Northern Europe, forests have benefitted from the warmer climate and increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. During the coming decades, this positive development may at least partly be cancelled due to potentially increasing disturbances for the forest growth. For example, drought, fire and insect pests may cause damage. The role of forests as a carbon sink is an important aspect in the context of climate change mitigation activities, and vivid discussion on the most beneficial and sustainable use of forest resources is foreseen to continue. If global climate policy proves to be successful, it is possible that future changes in climate will be weaker than those based on the RCP4.5 scenario discussed in this report. However, this requires rapid restrictions of the greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Subject: climate
climate scenarios
adaptation to climate change
climate risks
forestry
global warming


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