Climate-driven risks to the climate mitigation potential of forests

William R.L. Anderegg, Anna T. Trugman, Grayson Badgley, Christa M. Anderson, Ann Bartuska, Philippe Ciais, Danny Cullenward, Christopher B. Field, Jeremy Freeman, Scott J. Goetz, Jeffrey A. Hicke, Deborah Huntzinger, Robert B. Jackson, John Nickerson, Stephen Pacala, James T. Randerson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forests have considerable potential to help mitigate human-caused climate change and provide society with many cobenefits. However, climate-driven risks may fundamentally compromise forest carbon sinks in the 21st century. Here, we synthesize the current understanding of climate-driven risks to forest stability from fire, drought, biotic agents, and other disturbances. We review how efforts to use forests as natural climate solutions presently consider and could more fully embrace current scientific knowledge to account for these climate-driven risks. Recent advances in vegetation physiology, disturbance ecology, mechanistic vegetation modeling, large-scale ecological observation networks, and remote sensing are improving current estimates and forecasts of the risks to forest stability. A more holistic understanding and quantification of such risks will help policy-makers and other stakeholders effectively use forests as natural climate solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaaz7005
JournalScience
Volume368
Issue number6497
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 19 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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    Anderegg, W. R. L., Trugman, A. T., Badgley, G., Anderson, C. M., Bartuska, A., Ciais, P., Cullenward, D., Field, C. B., Freeman, J., Goetz, S. J., Hicke, J. A., Huntzinger, D., Jackson, R. B., Nickerson, J., Pacala, S., & Randerson, J. T. (2020). Climate-driven risks to the climate mitigation potential of forests. Science, 368(6497), [eaaz7005]. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaz7005