Observations from the IPCC projected scenarios justifying the growth rate reduction for the state of Nature 2 and the projected year of occurrence.
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen (IPCC 2014). The report also states further that in recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Impacts are due to observed climate change, irrespective of its cause, indicating the sensitivity of natural and human systems to changing climate.
Figure 1. Evolution of mean temperature changes at the Earth’s surface forecasts for the next century using fossil fuel emissions scenarios -Source: IPCC 2007
From the IPCC reports and most corresponding literatures, the focal point of highest global climate change projections from different models with impacts has been projected and evolved to occur around year 2100 both on global and regional scales and hardly any projection has been seen beyond that year. For example (Orlowsky and Seneviratne, 2012) indicates that the most extreme drought events in Europe would become much longer between 2070 and 2099 compared to 1961 and 1990. Also, by 2100, climate change is expected to reduce the economic value of European forest land depending on interest rate and climate scenario, which equates to potential damages of several hundred billion euros (Hanewinkel et al., 2013).
The knowledge about potential climate change impacts on European forests is continuously expanding (Christopher Reyer.,2013) and the impacts are well documented, analysed and modelled also has been seen to have a lot of diverse impacts (growth/productivity changes, species suitability changes, Changes in growth rates, Changes in phenology , Changes in species suitability and disturbance trends) for example the due to climate change intensities extreme events such as European winter storms may become more frequent or at least more disastrous (Seidl et al., 2014). (Hanewinkel et al.,2013) also indicated that marked range shifts of tree species are projected in Europe because of extensive and large climatic changes.
(Citing Marcus Lindner et., al 2014) for the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), there is increased evidence for drought-induced growth decreases throughout the distribution area of the species (Kint et al., 2012). In north-eastern France for example, Bontemps et al. (2009, 2010) observed a decline in dominant radial and height growth of beech in the 1990s, which was con?rmed by Charru et al. (2010). This latter study based on French national forest inventory data showed a drop in basal area increment of 5% over the period 1987 to 2004 in response to severe drought events. But on the contrary, according to (Loustau et al., 2005) In northern France, forest productivity is expected to be enhanced by climate change, increasingly from west to east, whereas in the southwestern Atlantic region, productivity will be reduced by climate change to an increasing degree from west to east, While also in Czech Republic, it has been projected that by 2070 onwards, optimal growing conditions for the European beech will only exist in some parts of those areas where it currently occurs naturally which indicates a serious decline due to projected drought severity.
Climate change is expected to magnify regional differences in Europe’s natural resources and assets. Negative impacts will include increased risk of inland flash floods and more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion (due to storminess and sea level rise). Mountainous areas will face glacier retreat, reduced snow cover and winter tourism, and extensive species losses (in some areas up to 60% under high emissions scenarios by 2080). In southern Europe, climate change is projected to worsen conditions (elevated temperatures and drought) in a region already vulnerable to climate variability, and to reduce water availability, hydropower potential, summer tourism and, in general, crop productivity. Climate change is also projected to increase the health risks due to heat waves and the frequency of wildfires. (IPCC 2007)
Figure 2: Projected regional climate change impacts on forests in Europe by 2100 (Christophe Orazio et al.,2013, RoK-FOR-project)
Net primary production (Europe)
A study by Fronzek and Carter (2007) estimated the future forest net primary biomass production (NPP) in some certain European countries by using the Miami Model to compute the impacts of seven regional circulation models (RCM) (HIRHAM, HadRM3H, CHRM, CLM, REMO, RCAO, and RACMO2) The RCMs were driven by the HadAM3H-A2 simulation.Based on the report, the results for the BSR generally predict increased NPP for the period 2071-2100 compared to the baseline. The highest projected NPP for the BSR is found in the north of Sweden and Finland; >40 % increase. Central Sweden and Finland are estimated to have 20 to 40% increased NPP. Southern Sweden and Finland and just about the rest of the BSR are modelled to have an increased NPP in the range of 0 to 20%. Conversely, this does not include most areas of Germany where the NPP is simulated to decrease in the range of -20 to 0%.
Figure 3 and 4: Net primary production (Europe)
Forest cover (Europe)
A study by Casalegno et al. (2007) as part of The EEA report (2008) wherein the actual and future dominant forest categories and estimated shift in vegetation for the period 2000-2100 under NCAR-CCM3 A1B climate scenario was modelled for Europe, with the use of Classification Tree Analysis model to estimate the actual and future distribution of the ten most dominant European forest categories in Europe.
Figure 5: Forest cover (Europe)
The result indicated and illustrated above shows that the projected changes of forest categories 2100 compared to 2000 for the BSR are most apparent for Sweden, Finland, and Germany. Sweden is projected to have an upward shift of the hemi boreal, nemoral coniferous, mixed broadleaved from the southern part of Sweden to the middle part of Sweden. Finland’s southern half is projected to go from boreal forest to hemi boreal, nemoral coniferous, mixed broadleaved. Eastern Germany’s boreal regions are projected to have disappeared in 2100. The forests in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are not projected to change noteworthy all illustrated in the figure below.
Furthermore (Citing Marcus Lindner et., al 2008) a study was conducted in Germany (Lasch et al.,2002) where the productivity the four main species in Germany under climate change was studied. They used two different climate change scenarios (ECHAM4 and HadCM2); the difference between the scenarios was the simulated increase in precipitation, being higher in HadCM2 scenario. For the HadCM2 scenario they predicted an increase of around 7% for Norway spruce and Scots pine, smaller increase for beech (2%) and even a decrease in oak production (7%). Whereas with the drier 67 scenario they predicted a decrease in production for all the species (Norway spruce -4%, pine -7%, oak -12% and beech -16%).Whereas with the drier 67 scenario they predicted a decrease in production for all the species (Norway spruce -4%, pine -7%, oak -12% and beech -16%).
Summary and forgoing conclusion
Based on the above explanations (Net primary production, Forest cover projections and the cited work of Lasch et al.,2002 ) with the assumption to compare Germany’s situation and make it applicable to France due to their relative soil and vegetation similarities(Arwyn Jones et al., 2005) and in the absence of more published results that relates to France(Vosges forest) directly for substantial justifications, the percentage reduction in productivity(growth rate reduction for the state of nature 2- catastrophic climate change projection.) of the species in the discus of this thesis may be envisaged to be at 20 percent by year 2100.
Figure 6: Soil type across continental Europe (Source: Institute for Environment and Sustainability Joint Research Centre of the European Commission)
1 It’s highly envisaged that the year 2100 will be the year with the most catastrophic climate change events
2 The growth rate reduction for the state of nature 2- catastrophic climate change projection may be envisaged to be set at 20 percentage
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