Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Forests to play major role in meeting Paris climate targets
by Staff Writers
Bristol, UK (SPX) Feb 28, 2017

File image.

Forests are set to play a major role in meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement - however, accurately monitoring progress toward the "below 2 C" target requires a consistent approach to measuring the impact of forests on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In a paper published in the journal, Nature Climate Change: Key role of forests in meeting climate targets but science needed for credible mitigation, scientists are calling for robust, transparent and credible data to track the real mitigation potential of forests.

Dr Joanna House from the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute is a co-author of the paper: "There is no doubt forests have enormous potential to mitigate against climate change, primarily through reducing deforestation, planting new forests and managing existing forests. Forests play a major role in in the pledges made by countries towards meeting the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, meeting up to a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions reductions up to 2030. This is a huge contribution considering they only contribute 10 per cent of emissions, while fossil fuels contribute 90 per cent."

In December 2015, 195 countries adopted the Paris Climate Agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As part of the process, 187 countries - representing more than 96% of global net emissions - submitted their Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs), which form the basis for implementing mitigation actions under the climate agreement. The INDCs pledged ahead of the Paris meeting only limit global average temperatures to around 3.5 degrees C, not "well below" 2 degrees as required in the Paris Agreement.

"Most countries include the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector in their INDCs, with a clear focus on forests. However, countries use different ways of calculating the land sector emissions reductions it in their national targets. Consequently, evaluating the expected effect of the land sector on the INDC mitigation targets is very complex," said Dr House.

The EU's Joint Research Centre and a team of international collaborators, led by Dr Giacomo Grassi and including Dr House, carried out the first and most thorough quantification and interpretation of country mitigation plans in the LULUCF sector. Using information and data reported by countries under the UNFCCC process, backed up with country data reported to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, they compared it with independent estimates in the scientific literature.

"Comparing the overall mitigation contribution of the land sector to all other sectors such as energy, we found that globally it contributes to about 25% of the total INDC emissions reduction.

"The INDC commitments still fall short of meeting the Paris targets, and despite the role of forests, there will need to be further drastic reductions in fossil fuel emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change," says Dr House.

"Climate impacts are already being felt throughout the world as 2014, 2015 and 2016 were each consecutively the warmest years on record. Forests play an important role, not least because of the co-benefits of biodiversity, rainfall recycling, and protection from flooding and erosion. However our land resource is limited, so there is no getting away from the need to also switch to low carbon energy as many countries are doing with great success while their economies continue to flourish."

"Tracking the mitigation potential of forests requires more confidence in numbers, including reconciling estimates between country reports and scientific studies. However, the credibility of land-based mitigation may be hampered by large uncertainties in the way countries consider mitigation and their GHG estimates. National GHG inventories must be improved in terms of transparency, accuracy (including information on uncertainties), consistency, completeness and comparability, especially in developing countries," said lead author, Giacomo Grassi from the EU's Joint Research Centre.

"There is also an urgency to reconcile the currently relevant differences between the GHG estimates provided in the country reports and those based on scientific assessments. Progress toward achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement will be based on both country reports and scientific assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Without speaking a common language, conflicting numbers may undermine confidence in reaching targets, and progress toward the "below 2C" target cannot be properly assessed," said Dr House.

Research paper: 'Key role of forests in meeting climate targets but science needed for credible mitigation,' by G. Grassi, J. House et al., in Nature Climate Change.

Forests worldwide threatened by drought
Stirling, UK (SPX) Feb 24, 2017
Forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought, University of Stirling researchers have found. An analysis, published in the journal Ecology Letters, suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts. The study found a similar response in trees across the world, where death increases consistently with increases in drou ... read more

Related Links
University of Bristol
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Haitians' ire over carnival spending amid hurricane's ruins

Carnival helps Rio put crime, recession on back burner

Study shows parks, greenways may help reduce crime in Chicago

Canada conservationist warns of 'cyber poaching

Two radar eyes are better than one

New use for paper industry's sludge and fly ash in plastics

Scientists discover how essential methane catalyst is made

New polymer additive could revolutionize plastics recycling

Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely

New urgency in fight to restore Florida Everglades

Saab to provide support for Swedish navy underwater systems

First direct measurements of Pacific seabed sediments reveal strong methane source

Air pollution may have masked mid-20th Century sea ice loss

International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean

Arctic sea ice decline influences European weather

Simple rule predicts when an ice age ends

Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading

'Our daily bread' has hidden climate costs

What's the buzz on bee parasites?

Brexit sows seeds of doubt for British farmers

An insight into a physical phenomenon that leads to earthquakes

Water slowly restored in Chile capital after deadly floods

California requests $440 mn for flood control after dam crisis

Four million without water in deadly Chile floods

France sends backup to Niger after 16 troops killed

UN airstrikes in C.Africa target 'heavily armed' militia

16 killed in three days of DR Congo clashes

I.Coast hosting bid to save its last chimpanzees

Newfound primate teeth take a big bite out of the evolutionary tree of life

Study shows ancient humans arrived in South America in multiple waves

Will naming the Anthropocene lead to acceptance of our planet-level impact

Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement