Scientific articles about forests and the climate

Alkama2016: Climate impacts of recent changes in global forest cover

Alkama och Cescatti combine satellite measurements of air temperature with high-resolution ground images that show changes in forest cover all over the world. By measuring the temperature close to places where forests are cleared or restored, a fine-grained picture emerges. Deforestation increases temperature, more so in arid areas than in boreal parts of the world. An intact forest cover reduces daily variation in temperature and can therefore mitigate local effects of climate change. Read the whole article in Science.

Lindroth2009: Storms can cause Europe-wide reduction in forest carbon sink

Lindroth and co-workers model the effect of storms on carbon sequestration in boreal forests. They conclude that storms contribute significantly to loss of carbon to the atmosphere, and that this may become more common in a warmer climate. Read the whole article in Global Change Biology.

Holm2015: A management strategy for multiple ecosystem services in Boreal Forests

Holm proposes to re-create semi-natural boreal forests instead of plantations. Such forests will be more resilient to climate change while simultaneously sequestering more carbon. In addition such forests would be much better from a biodiversity point of view and less prone to windfall or insect outbreaks. Read the whole article in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry.

Jonsson2009: How does a boreal forest best sequester carbon?

Jonsson och Wardle model the carbon balance based on islands where the history of forest fires is known. The plant species composition influences the carbon sequestration, which is optimal for late-succession plant ecosystems, in combination with a lack of wildfires. Read the whole article in Biology Letters.

Nässén2012: Concrete or wood in buildings?

Nässen and co-workers compare the climate impact of building houses with wood instead of concrete. The answer is – it depends. Many factors come into play, like the amount of energy used during the house’s lifetime, and how the house is taken care of after demolishing – no house stands forever. It is therefore not clear whether wood is a better building material than concrete from an energy perspective. Read the whole article in Building and Environment.

Holtsmark2015: Global warming potential of CO2 emissions from wood fuels

Bjart Holtsmark has done a thorough analysis of the amount of carbon dioxide released from burning wood fuels vs fossil fuels. He finds that if even the impact on the forest soil and residue is taken into account the global warming potential of wood fuels is in fact higher than that of fossil fuels, on a 100 year perspective. Read the whole story in Global Change Biology – Bioenergy.

Crowther2015: Counting all trees in the world

Crowther and co-workers have counted all trees in the world using satellite images and counts on the ground together. They conclude that the number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion (million million). This is a lot higher than previous estimates but the authors estimate that the total number of trees has diminished with 46% due to human action. Read the whole articles in Nature.

Stephenson2014: Large trees grow faster

Forests are crucial for the global carbon cycle by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In a paper published in the journal Nature, researchers now show that large trees accumulate carbon dioxide faster than small trees, and that they keep doing this. Read the whole paper (English).