Predicting pan-tropical climate change induced forest stock gains and losses—implications for REDD
February, 2010. Marlies Gumpenberger, Katrin Vohland, Ursula Heyder, Benjamin Poulter, Kirsten Macey, Anja Rammig, Alexander Popp and Wolfgang Cramer. Environmental Research Letters, Volume 5, Number 1. 15 pages. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014013
Deforestation is a major threat to tropical forests worldwide, contributing up to one-fifth of global carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Despite protection efforts, deforestation of tropical forests has continued in recent years. Providing incentives to reducing deforestation has been proposed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Bali negotiations in 2007 to decelerate emissions from deforestation (REDD—reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). A number of methodological issues such as ensuring permanence, establishing reference emissions levels that do not reward business-as-usual and having a measuring, reporting and verification system in place are essential elements in implementing successful REDD schemes. To assess the combined impacts of climate and land-use change on tropical forest carbon stocks in the 21st century, we use a dynamic global vegetation model (LPJ DGVM) driven by five different climate change projections under a given greenhouse gas emission scenario (SRES A2) and two contrasting land-use change scenarios. We find that even under a complete stop of deforestation after the period of the Kyoto Protocol (post-2012) some countries may continue to lose carbon stocks due to climate change. Especially at risk is tropical Latin America, although the presence and magnitude of the risk depends on the climate change scenario. By contrast, strong protection of forests could increase carbon uptake in many tropical countries, due to CO2 fertilization effects, even under altered climate regimes.
Please click here to download.
Keywords: a. Forest Carbon Science, Other Publications, deforestation, land use change, pan-tropical, REDD, tropical forest