CarbonPlan Team

Climate-driven risks to forest carbon

Team members Jeremy Freeman and Danny Cullenward contributed to a new review article on forest carbon risks that was published in Science magazine and led by our collaborators Bill Anderegg (University of Utah), Anna Trugman (UC Santa Barbara), and Grayson Badgley (Black Rock Forest Consortium / Columbia University).

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
Science, 368 (2020) 10.1126/science.aaz7005

Here’s how the editors at Science summarized the article:

Much recent attention has focused on the potential of trees and forests to mitigate ongoing climate change by acting as sinks for carbon. Anderegg et al. review the growing evidence that forests' climate mitigation potential is increasingly at risk from a range of adversities that limit forest growth and health. These include physical factors such as drought and fire and biotic factors, including the depredations of insect herbivores and fungal pathogens. Full assessment and quantification of these risks, which themselves are influenced by climate, is key to achieving science-based policy outcomes for effective land and forest management.

We’re excited to share this publication. We're also excited to start work on new open source tools that apply the paper’s insights to evaluate both the benefits of and risks to forest carbon strategies. Getting the details right — particularly as the risks evolve in a changing climate — is essential for making smart climate decisions today.

Terms of engagement

CarbonPlan received no financial support for this work and has no financial conflicts of interest with any of the other organizations involved.

Questions? Interested in collaborating on these problems? Email us at hello@carbonplan.org

A new publication with our collaborators examines the physical risks associated with storing carbon in forests.
CarbonPlan is a registered non-profit public benefit corporation in California with 501(3)(c) status.
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