CICERO - Center for International Climate Research
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Quantifying Climate Impacts of Future Forest Management Strategies in Norway

The international community has agreed that the increase in global temperature must be limited to 2°C above the pre-industrial levels. Meeting this ambitious goal requires a large-scale shift away from the fossil economy towards one based on renewable materials and energy like biomass.

Forests can play multiple roles in climate mitigation, such as sequestering carbon or provision of energy. Changes in forest management can alter the distribution, structure, and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, which in turn affect climate. Whether a certain type of land use or management change will result in a net cooling or warming contribution for the regional and global climate is highly dependent on site-specific conditions and vegetation. Consequently, detailed data about vegetation characteristics is essential. Moreover, the quantification of regional and global climate responses requires both high-resolution modeling and inclusion of a broad set of the mechanisms that affect climate on different time scales.

The boreal forests is an important resource for Norway today, and continue to be so in the future. Currently, little or no information exist about the regional climate response to changes in forest cover and structure following future strategies for forest management. This limits our ability to determine which management options lead to climate benefits with confidence.

This will be addressed in the project ″Quantifying Climate Impacts of Future Forest Management Strategies in Norway″. By combining detailed ecosystem modeling and high-resolution climate modeling, researchers from CICERO, NTNU and NIBIO will investigate vegetation changes under future management strategies for Norwegian forests and the consequent climate impact when accounting for a broad set of relevant mechanisms.

The project thus aims to provide robust scientific knowledge of relevance for designing policies for climate mitigation and sustainable management of Norwegian forest resources.