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The risks of losing boreal forests

International forestry experts now warn policy makers all over the world should make sure to check into the protection policies for boreal forests. Source: Science

In fact, they made a note in an article that was published in the journal Science, an article that was part of a special journal issue on global forests which was released just prior to the World Forestry Congress, in September.

“Boreal forests have the potential to hit a tipping point this century,”said Anatoly Shvidenko, who is a researcher scholar with the Ecosystems Services and Management Program at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

“It is urgent that we place more focus on climate mitigation and adaptation with respect to these forests, and also take a more integrated and balanced view of forests around the world.”

Additionally, IIASA representative Dmitry Schepaschenko said: “The changes could be very dramatic and very fast.”

In response to Schepaschenko’s remarks, Bob Weber of The Canadian Press reported: “Although it [the boreal forests] remains largely intact, it faces the most severe expected temperature increases anywhere on Earth.

Mr Schepaschenko said some parts of Siberia are likely to eventually become 11 C warmer. That will bring greater precipitation, but not enough to compensate for the dryness caused by hotter weather.

A drier boreal will suffer new diseases, insect infestations and vast wildfires.

“The forests can’t go so far to the north. The speed at which forests can move forward is very slow, like 100 metres a decade,” said Mr Schepaschenko.