A study led by a North Carolina State University researcher found that under more severe climate warming scenarios, the inventory of trees used for timber in the continental United States could decline by as much as 23% by 2100.
A study led by a North Carolina State University researcher found that under more severe climate warming scenarios, the inventory of trees used for timber in the continental United States could decline by as much as 23% by 2100. The largest inventory losses would occur in two of the leading timber regions in the U.S., which are both in the South.
Researchers say their findings show modest impacts on forest product prices through the end of the century, but suggest bigger impacts in terms of storing carbon in U.S. forests. Two-thirds of U.S. forests are classified as timberlands.
“We already see some inventory decline at baseline in our analysis, but relative to that, you could lose, additionally, as much as 23% of the U.S. forest inventory,” said the study’s lead author Justin Baker, associate professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University. “That’s a pretty dramatic change in standing forests.”
In the study, which is published in Forest Policy and Economics, researchers used computer modeling to project how 94 individual tree species in the continental United States will grow under six climate warming scenarios through 2100. They also considered the impact of two different economic scenarios on demand growth for forestry products. The researchers compared their outcomes for forest inventory, harvest, prices and carbon sequestration to scenarios with no climate change. Researchers said their methods could provide a more nuanced picture of the future forest sector under high-impact climate change scenarios compared to other models.
Read more at North Carolina State University
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