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Impact of climate change on forests in India

By NH Ravindranath, NV Joshi, R Sukumar and A Saxena


Global assessments have shown that future climate change is likely to significantly impact forest ecosystems. The present study makes an assessment of the impact of projected climate change on forest ecosystems in India. This assessment is based on climate projections of Regional Climate Model of the Hadley Centre (HadRM3) using the A2 (740 ppm CO2) and B2 (575 ppm CO2) scenarios of Special Report on Emissions Scenarios and the BIOME4 vegetation response model. The main conclusion is that under the climate projection for the year 2085, 77% and 68% of the forested grids in India are likely to experience shift in forest types under A2 and B2 scenario, respectively. Indications are a shift towards wetter forest types in the northeastern region and drier forest types in the northwestern region in the absence of human influence. Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate warming could also result in a doubling of net primary productivity under the A2 scenario and nearly 70% increase under the B2 scenario. The trends of impacts could be considered as robust but the magnitudes should be viewed with caution, due to the uncertainty in climate projections. Given the projected trends of likely impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems, it is important to incorporate climate change consideration in forest sector long-term planning process

Topics: Centre for Ecological Sciences
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Year: 2006
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