The climate impact of forest management scenarios in Europe: inclusion of radiative forcing and global warming potential into EFISCEN and EFI-GTM models

Giuseppe Cardellini (KU Leuven) will be hosted by Hans Verkerk (European Forest Institute).

The objective of the study is to assess the climate impact of different forest management options (no management, bioenergy and wood material production) in Europe, considering the impact of forest biogenic carbon dynamics on climate. Due to the so-called carbon-neutrality issue, together with the alleged carbon debt due to forest regrowth after wood harvesting, the use of forests as an instrument to mitigate climate change has been strongly criticized recently. Hoewever, the actual climate impact of forest policies does not depend only on the forest carbon fluxes, but on the actual impact they exert on climate. The positive effect of [use of] forest biogenic carbon compared to [use of] anthropogenic carbon, has already been shown in various published studies, but only at a small scale. The goal of the project will be to integrate this information into existing scenarios of European forest management strategies developed within EFI with the EFISCEN model. This will allow a more complete picture of the real climate benefit and potential of forest management scenarios in Europe to be obtained. The climate effect of forest biogenic carbon dynamics on climate will be assessed integrating EFISCEN with the TiSpa model developed within the EU FP7 project FORMIT, which allows for this type of climate analysis. Existing EFISCEN model simulations will be used (EFSOS-II, Seidl et al. 2014, Verkerk et al. 2016) and the results will be integrated calculating also their radiative forcing and global warming impact. In the two weeks of the visit all the necessary data for the analysis will be collected and the integration of the two models will be started. The integration and analysis of the results, together with the writing of a manuscript to be submitted to a scientific journal, will be continued after the visit at the home institution.




Seidl, R., Schelhaas, M.-J., Rammer, W., Verkerk, P.J., 2014. Increasing forest disturbances in Europe and their impact on carbon storage. Nat. Clim. Change 4, 806–810.

Verkerk, P.J., Lindner, M., Pérez-Soba, M., Paterson, J.S., Helming, J., Verburg, P.H., Kuemmerle, T., Lotze-Campen, H., Moiseyev, A., Müller, D., Popp, A., Schulp, C.J.E., Stürck, J., Tabeau, A., Wolfslehner, B., Zanden, E.H. van der, 2016. Identifying pathways to visions of future land use in Europe. Reg. Environ. Change 1–14.