Burning economic issues for the taiga? #Russia #climate

Recently, Dr Shkolnik (Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory, Roshydromet) and his colleagues from the St. Petersburg Forestry Research Institute have published a very timely paper adding to the growing discussion on the promising future of forestry profitability in Russia. The research draws up a projection of the economic consequences of climate impact on forestry in Russia by the end of 21st century. The scientists have implemented a series of climate change simulations to assess future implications of climate issues on forests, especially  on forest fire management.

The main results are quite optimistic, although, they do bring some new concerns. The expected growth of average annual temperatures will cause an increase in vegetation period and will stimulate the exchange of species between natural zones. This will boost forests’ quality and width and expand forestry economics by increasing the wood costs.

At the same time, growing annual temperatures will likely result in the increase of intensity of forest fires in a number of Russian regions. Also, the displacement of natural zones may have negative consequences for forestry due to a possible decrease of coniferous wood. This will affect the forestry with a significant increase in expenses associated with fire-related problems.

The forest fire management costs are projected to increase by the end of the current century by roughly 2972 thousand euro and 3504 thousand euro under the radiative forcing scenarios RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, respectively. The most striking increase in the costs is expected in the Tyumen and Arkhangelsk regions and in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous district-Yugra (see Figure1).

Figure 1. The change in the number of days with fire dangers classes 2-5 according to the RCP 4.5. and RCP 8.5 scenarios

Dr. Igor Shkolnik is the head of Dynamic meteorology and climatology department at the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory in Saint Petersburg, Russia. His research focus is probabilistic climate projections and impact quantification and extends to broader variety of climatic issues across the regions of Russia, Central Asia, and the Arctic.

Torzhkov, I. O., et al. “Assessment of Future Climate Change Impacts on Forestry in Russia.” Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 44.3 (2019): 180-186.

Original source: https://idp.springer.com/authorize/casa?redirect_uri=https://link.springer.com/article/10.3103/S1068373919030038&casa_token=W9Unn1xK-JsAAAAA:t-wI1_l_6PIksHa_skrBZ9SHCZyO16qSYvJCHquHMKIaMNpuFa–2OtK9TO0vMJuO8XPzqV0RaP98CGt


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