Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-15
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-15
19 Jan 2024
 | 19 Jan 2024

Fire Weather Compromises Forestation-reliant Climate Mitigation Pathways

Felix Jäger, Jonas Schwaab, Yann Quilcaille, Michael Windisch, Jonathan Doelman, Stefan Frank, Mykola Gusti, Petr Havlik, Florian Humpenöder, Andrey Lessa Derci Augustynczik, Christoph Müller, Kanishka B. Narayan, Ryan S. Padrón, Alexander Popp, Detlef van Vuuren, Michael Wögerer, and Sonia I. Seneviratne

Abstract. Forestation can contribute to climate change mitigation. However, an increasing frequency and intensity of climate extremes is posed to have profound impact on forests, and consequently on the mitigation potential of forestation efforts. In this perspective, we critically assess forestation-reliant climate mitigation scenarios from five different Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) by show-casing the spatially explicit exposure of forests to fire weather and the simulated increase in global annual burned area. We provide a detailed description of the feedback from climate change to forest carbon uptake in IAMs. Few IAMs are currently accounting for feedback mechanisms like loss from fire disturbance. Consequently many forestation areas proposed by IAM scenarios will be exposed to fire-promoting weather conditions and without costly prevention measures might be object to frequent burning. We conclude that the actual climate mitigation portfolio in IAM scenarios is subject to substantial uncertainty and that the risk of overly optimistic estimates of negative emission potential of forestation should be avoided. As a way forward we propose how to integrate more detailed climate information when modeling climate mitigation pathways heavily relying on forestation.

Felix Jäger, Jonas Schwaab, Yann Quilcaille, Michael Windisch, Jonathan Doelman, Stefan Frank, Mykola Gusti, Petr Havlik, Florian Humpenöder, Andrey Lessa Derci Augustynczik, Christoph Müller, Kanishka B. Narayan, Ryan S. Padrón, Alexander Popp, Detlef van Vuuren, Michael Wögerer, and Sonia I. Seneviratne

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-15', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-15', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Feb 2024
Felix Jäger, Jonas Schwaab, Yann Quilcaille, Michael Windisch, Jonathan Doelman, Stefan Frank, Mykola Gusti, Petr Havlik, Florian Humpenöder, Andrey Lessa Derci Augustynczik, Christoph Müller, Kanishka B. Narayan, Ryan S. Padrón, Alexander Popp, Detlef van Vuuren, Michael Wögerer, and Sonia I. Seneviratne
Felix Jäger, Jonas Schwaab, Yann Quilcaille, Michael Windisch, Jonathan Doelman, Stefan Frank, Mykola Gusti, Petr Havlik, Florian Humpenöder, Andrey Lessa Derci Augustynczik, Christoph Müller, Kanishka B. Narayan, Ryan S. Padrón, Alexander Popp, Detlef van Vuuren, Michael Wögerer, and Sonia I. Seneviratne

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Short summary
Climate change mitigation strategies developed with socio-economic models rely on the wide-spread (re)planting of trees to limit global warming below 2 degrees. However, most of these models neglect climate-driven shifts in forest damages like fires. By assessing existing mitigation scenarios, we show the exposure of projected forestation areas to fire-promoting weather conditions. Our study highlights the problem of ignoring climate-driven shifts in forest damages and ways to address it.