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Climate Change & Forests; Impacts & vulnerability . Prof. Ravindranath Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. Outline. Critical issues in the context of climate change and forests Status of forests in India Impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems

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slide1

Climate Change & Forests; Impacts & vulnerability

Prof. Ravindranath

Indian Institute of Science

Bangalore

outline
Outline
  • Critical issues in the context of climate change and forests
  • Status of forests in India
  • Impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems
  • Greening India Mission and long term monitoring
    • India’s response to climate change
forests and climate change
Forests and climate change
  • Deforestation and land use change contribute to CO2 emissions

– IPCC; 20% of CO2 emissions

  • Forests provide a large potential to mitigate climate change

- IPCC; 15 – 20% of CO2 emissions

  • Forests will be impacted by climate change and are highly vulnerable to climate impacts
      • Need for adaptation to enable forests to cope with climate change

-------------------------------------------------------------

Forest sector is critical in addressing climate change

Forest sector is very contentious in global negotiations

status of forests
Status of Forests
  • India has reasonably succeeded in conserving forests – though degradation continues
  • India has effective forest conservation acts
  • India is also implementing one of the largest afforestation programmes
  • India has launched a large Greening India Mission- aimed at mitigation and adaptation to climate change
impacts of climate change ipcc findings
Impacts of Climate Change – IPCC findings
  • Populations of threatened species are expected to become extinct
    • 1/3 to 2/3rd of known biodiversity at risk of extinction
  • Species composition and dominance will be altered, resulting in ecosystem changes
  • Shifts in forest types boundary
    • Altitude & Latitude
  • Forest die-back / mortality
    • Climate change faster than capacity to migrate
  • Increase and later decrease in biomass productivity
  • Tipping point; Amazon could be turned to savannah
slide10

Pre monsoon (March–June) Tmax for the baseline period (1961–1990).

  • projected future (2071–2100 minus 1961–1990 mean) change.
  • Projected future change in number of rainy days (days with rainfall [2.5 mm) during monsoon season and
  • the projected change in the intensity (mm/day) of rainfall on a rainy day
global vegetation model
Global Vegetation Model:

1. BIOME4: Equilibrium model

2. IBIS (Integrated Biosphere Simulator): dynamic global Vegetation Model

3. Working currently on LPJ & CLM models

Climate Model: GCM and RCM data from

  • Hadley HadRM3 data (50x50 km2)
  • In future other GCMs will be used
slide13

VALIDATION: Model simulated current vegetation distribution (right) compared with observed vegetation distribution - 70% of grids correctly simulated

slide14

Forest type distribution and extent simulated by IBIS for the baseline case and A1B (2035 and 2085) scenarios. (VT – refers to Vegetation Types. The numbers refer to the following vegetation types

1: tropical evergreen forest / woodland,

2: tropical deciduous forest / woodland,

3. temperate evergreen broadleaf forest / woodland,

4: temperate evergreen conifer forest / woodland,

5: temperate deciduous forest / woodland,

6: boreal evergreen forest / woodland, 7: boreal deciduous forest / woodland, 8: mixed forest / woodland,

9: savanna, 10: grassland/ steppe, 11: dense shrubland, 12: open shrubland, 13: tundra, 14: desert, 15. polar desert / rock / ice)

slide17

Red indicates that a change in vegetation is projected at that grid in the time-period of 2035 & 2085 - under A1B scenario

Green indicates that no change in vegetation is projected by that period.

projected impact of climate change on forested grids in india a2 scenario
PROJECTED IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FORESTED GRIDS IN INDIA A2 SCENARIO

39% of the forest grids likely change under A2 scenario by 2085 causing loss of C stock and biodiversity

Source: Chaturvedi et al., 2011

1 = stable grids

2=forest grids undergoing change

slide19

Percentage of FSI grids projected to undergo change, aggregated by the major forested states – A1B Scenario

slide20

Percentage of FSI grids projected to undergo change, aggregated by Champion and Seth forest types – A!B

vulnerability assessment indicators
Vulnerability Assessment - Indicators
  • Climate change impact Indicators
  • Bio-physical Indicators
  • Socio-economic Indicators
criteria indicators for mitigation projects
Criteria & Indicators for Mitigation projects
  • Disturbance index: An indication of the human disturbance for a particular forest patch. More the disturbance index, higher the forest vulnerability.
  • Fragmentation status: An indication of how fragmented the forest patch is. More the fragmentation status, higher the forest vulnerability.
  • Biological richness: Indicates the species diversity of the forest patch, a measure of the number of species of flora and fauna, per unit area. Higher the biological richness, lower the forest vulnerability
  • Impact of climate change on carbon sinks of forests: For estimating climate change impacts, IBIS, which is a dynamic global vegetation model, was used.
why adaptation when uncertainty in impact assessment
Why Adaptation? When uncertainty in Impact Assessment
  • Impacts will be irreversible; e.g.,
    • loss of biodiversity
  • Inertia in response to changing climate
  • Long gestation period in developing & implementation of adaptation practices
  • Waiting for full knowledge – high risk
  • Large ecological, economic and social implications

Focus on “win – win” adaptation options

greening india mission gim
Greening India Mission (GIM)

The Mission aims at addressing climate change by

  • Enhancing carbon sinks in sustainably managed forests and other ecosystems
  • Adaptation of vulnerable species / ecosystems to changing climate
  • Enabling adaptation of forest-dependant communities.
key issues in the context of climate change and forests
Key Issues in the context of Climate Change and Forests
  • Tropical deforestation continues at nearly 13 Mha annually (2000-2010 – FAO)
  • CO2 emissions are at 1.6 GtC with high uncertainty
  • Cancun Agreement has included – REDD+; Need for operation – complexity of measurement, reporting, verification, financing, payment, role for local communities..
  • CDM in forestry has failed due to methodological complexities and risks of carbon loss
  • Climate change is projected to impact forests
  • Climate change + Degradation + poor management of forests; increases vulnerability
  • Need for forest and biodiversity conservation & also meet the food needs of poor – land for food is a driver of deforestation
conclusions
Conclusions
  • India has reasonably succeeded in reducing deforestation, but degradation continues
  • There are biodiversity rich hot spots and there is a large dependence of communities on forest biodiversity
  • Climate change even in the short and medium term is likely to adversely impact forest ecosystems
  • Thus India has initiated a large Greening Indian Mission – to promote Mitigation and Adaptation
limitations of ibis model
Limitations of IBIS model
  • IBIS is known to have limitations in characterizing nitrogen dynamics (Cramer et al. 2001).
  • It is known to over-simulate grasslands (Bonan et al. 2003)
  • IBIS tends to simulate a fairly strong CO2 fertilization effect (Cramer et al. 2001; McGuire et al. 2001).
  • IBIS model in its current form does not include a dynamic fire module (Foley et al. 1996).
  • It does not account for changes in pest attack profile THUS overestimation of future NPP and SOC.
  • There is uncertainty in climate projections, particularly in precipitation at down-scaled regional levels. Land-use change and other anthropogenic influences are not factored in this study. Afforestation and regeneration (e.g. on abandoned croplands or wastelands) are also not considered.