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Carbon stored in harvested wood products (HWPs) can affect national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, in which the production
and end use of HWPs play a key role. The Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) provides guidance on HWP carbon accounting, which is sensitive to future developments of socioeconomic factors including population, income, and trade. We
estimated the carbon stored within HWPs from 1961 to 2065 for
180 countries following IPCC carbon-accounting guidelines, consistent with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAOSTAT) historical data and plausible futures outlined by the
shared socioeconomic pathways. We found that the global HWP
pool was a net annual sink of 335 Mt of CO2 equivalent (CO2e)·y−1
in 2015, offsetting substantial amounts of industrial processes
within some countries, and as much as 441 Mt of CO2e·y−1 by 2030
under certain socioeconomic developments. Furthermore, there is
a considerable sequestration gap (71 Mt of CO2e·y−1 of unaccounted carbon storage in 2015 and 120 Mt of CO2e·y−1 by 2065)
under current IPCC Good Practice Guidance, as traded feedstock
is ineligible for national GHG inventories. However, even under
favorable socioeconomic conditions, and when accounting for
the sequestration gap, carbon stored annually in HWPs is <1% of global emissions. Furthermore, economic shocks can turn the HWP pool into a carbon source either long-term—e.g., the collapse of the USSR—or short-term—e.g., the US economic recession of 2008/09. In conclusion, carbon stored within end-use HWPs varies widely across countries and depends on evolving market forces.

Public lands provide many ecosystem services and support diverse plant and animal
communities. In order to provide these benefits in the future, land managers and policy
makers need information about future climate change and its potential effects. In particular,
weather extremes are key drivers of wildfires, droughts, and false springs, which in turn can
have large impacts on ecosystems. However, information on future changes in weather
extremes on public lands is lacking. Our goal was to compare historical (1950–2005) and projected
mid-century (2041–2070) changes in weather extremes (fire weather, spring droughts,
and false springs) on public lands. This case study looked at the lands managed by the U.S.
Forest Service across the conterminous United States including 501 ranger district units. We
analyzed downscaled projections of daily records from 19 Coupled Model Intercomparison
Project 5 General Circulation Models for two climate scenarios, with either medium-low or
high CO2 equivalent concentration (RCPs 4.5 and 8.5). For each ranger district, we estimated:
(1) fire potential, using the Keetch-Byram Drought Index; (2) frequency of spring
droughts, using the Standardized Precipitation Index; and (3) frequency of false springs, using
the extended Spring Indices. We found that future climates could substantially alter weather
conditions across Forest Service lands. Under the two climate scenarios, increases in wildfire
potential, spring droughts, and false springs were projected in 32–72%, 28–29%, and 13–16%
of all ranger districts, respectively. Moreover, a substantial number of ranger districts
(17–30%), especially in the Southwestern, Pacific Southwest, and Rocky Mountain regions,
were projected to see increases in more than one type of weather extreme, which may require
special management attention. We suggest that future changes in weather extremes could
threaten the ability of public lands to provide ecosystem services and ecological benefits to
society. Overall, our results highlight the value of spatially-explicit weather projections to
assess future changes in key weather extremes for land managers and policy makers.

Sacred Forests in northwest Yunnan, China

Jun 2016 - Birds - Conservation

Village sacred forests are small village forests protected as part of people’s religious beliefs and not because they are important to wildlife or air quality, and therefore may be better conserved without official conservation status.