A new study by ‘climate modeller’ Dr Chris Huntingford has found tropical forests are unlikely to lose biomass in response to greenhouse gas emissions caused by global warming. (He doesn’t appear to be a crackpot either.)
Forest picture from Shutterstock
Huntingford and his colleagues at the Oxford Centre for Ecology & Hydrology used simulations with twenty-two climate models to explore the response of tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change. In all but one of the models, no loss of forest cover was found.
“Using simulations with 22 climate models and the MOSES–TRIFFID land surface scheme, we find that only in one of the simulations are tropical forests projected to lose biomass by the end of the twenty-first century—and then only for the Americas,” the report explains.
We should point out that Huntingford does not dispute the reality of climate change or its potential effects on the environment, as this Guardian article attests. The report also acknowledges that uncertainty remains over how tropical forest carbon stocks might alter in response to changes in climate and atmospheric composition.
“Despite the considerable uncertainties, we conclude that there is evidence of forest resilience for all three regions,” Huntingford stated.
So basically, tropical forests could be resilient to climate change, but there isn’t enough evidence one way or the other to know for sure. Let the reader debate commence.
Simulated resilience of tropical rainforests to CO2-induced climate change [Nature GeoScience]