[MCN] What does Weyerhauser know, and when did it know it? 2 big hints

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Fri Apr 7 11:39:13 EDT 2017

1- Robert W. Malmsheimer et al. Journal of Forestry. April/May 2008

Opening sentences from the abstract: “Forests are shaped by climate. Along with soils, aspect, inclination, and elevation, climate determines what will grow where and how well. Changes in temperature and precipitation regimes therefore have the potential to dramatically affect forests nationwide.” 

2- Andrei P. Kirilenko and Roger A. Sedjo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Excerpts from the abstract: “Our review is focused on recent publications that discuss the changes in commercial forestry, excluding the ecosystem functions of forests and nontimber forest products.   ….   The response of forestry to global warming is likely to be multifaceted. On some sites, species more appropriate to the climate will replace the earlier species that is no longer suited to the climate. Also, planted forests can be relocated to more regions with more suitable climates. In general, we would expect planting and associated forestry operations to tend more toward higher latitudes, especially from some tropical sites, should they warm substantially. Plantations would likely shift toward more subtropical regions from tropical ones. In the United States, we might expect to see planted forest moving northward, with more spilling over into Canada. In Latin America forest plantations may shift toward southern Brazil and Argentina. In some cases the same sites will be used but the choice of species will change to those more suitable to the new climate."

To summarize, something's happening here, and it's becoming increasingly clear to at least some in the forest products industry --who have a clear interest in knowing--  that climate change makes a difference to forests.

The Forest Service itself has also been aware of changing conditions for forests, for instance here:

Looking to the Future and Learning from the Past in our National Forests: Posted by Randy Johnson, U.S. Forest Service Research and Development Program, on November 1, 2016 at 11:00 AM



“Forests are changing in ways they've never experienced before because today's growing conditions are different from anything in the past. The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, exotic diseases and pests are present, and landscapes are fragmented by human activity often occurring at the same time and place.

“When replanting a forest after disturbances, does it make sense to try to reestablish what was there before? Or, should we find re-plant material that might be more appropriate to current and future conditions of a changing environment?

“Restoration efforts on U.S. Forest Service managed lands call for the use of locally adapted and appropriate native seed sources. The science-based process for selecting these seeds varies, but in the past, managers based decisions on the assumption that present site conditions are similar to those of the past.

“This may no longer be the case.”

 http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/11/01/looking-to-the-future-and-learning-from-the-past-in-our-national-forests/ <http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/11/01/looking-to-the-future-and-learning-from-the-past-in-our-national-forests/>


2016  - “Climate change impacts have now been documented across every ecosystem on Earth, despite an average warming of only ~1°C so far.”

Scheffers et al. The broad footprint of climate change from genes to biomes to people. Science, 11 NOVEMBER 2016

2011--"  …  analysis suggests that despite high-level statements to the contrary, there is now little to no chance of maintaining the global mean surface temperature at or below 2C. Moreover, the impacts associated with 2C have been revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2C now more appropriately represents the threshold between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change."
Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows. Beyond ‘dangerous’ climate change: emission scenarios for a new world.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (2011)

2004 --"Between 1C and 2C increases in global mean temperatures most species, ecosystems and landscapes will be impacted and adaptive capacity will become limited. With the already ongoing high rate of climate change, the decline in biodiversity will therefore accelerate and simultaneously many ecosystem services will become less abundant."

Rik Leemans and Bas Eickhout. Another reason for concern: regional and global impacts on ecosystems for different levels of climate change. Global Environmental Change 14 (2004) 219–228

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