Forest Resilience Lab

Optimizing carbon offset efforts through modeling

Forests have enormous potential to provide natural climate solutions with manifold ecological, economic, and societal co-benefits. Yet the risks of forest carbon loss, including due to climate-induced disturbances such as pests, drought, and fire, are not often considered.

A rigorous, mechanistic, and probabilistic assessment of both the potential for and the risks facing forests as natural climate solutions is urgently needed for forest carbon offset markets in California and globally, bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration estimates, and forest, timber, and conservation investment efforts. Cutting-edge vegetation and land surface models could theoretically provide this rigorous potential and risk assessment. Substantial progress has been made in quantifying and simulating forest carbon and climate-driven disturbances, yet this information is not currently synthesized or available for this wide range of stakeholders

Our aims:

We bring rigorous scientific approaches to tackle five central, interrelated questions:

  • How well can we model forest carbon stocks and drivers of stock changes?
  • What would a probabilistic assessment of forest carbon stocks and risks to stocks through a fusion of large-scale datasets and vegetation model ensembles entail and require?
  • How can we better constrain and validate vegetation model estimates of forest carbon stocks and their drivers with current or forthcoming remote-sensing products?
  • What is the combined climate risk facing various forest biomes and how does this compare to the risk metrics currently used in carbon finance and/or offset markets?
  • What information and platforms are most needed for synthesizing current scientific understanding for forest carbon stakeholders?
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Latest Updates:

Science review paper out.
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Forests have significant potential to help mitigate human-caused climate change and provide society with a broad range of co-benefits. Local, national, and international efforts have developed policies and incentives to protect and enhance forest carbon sinks. But climate-driven risks may fundamentally compromise forest carbon stocks and sinks in the 21st century.

Understanding and quantifying climate-driven risks to forest stability can help illuminate how forests might help contribute towards the Paris Agreement climate goals. Thus, rigorous scientific assessment of the risks and limitations to widespread deployment of forests as natural climate solutions is urgent. In this paper, we synthesize current scientific understanding of the climate-driven risks to forests and lay out a roadmap for quantifying current and forecasting future risks to forest stability.

Check out our recent work on the climate risks facing forests:
Anderegg Lab Publications

We bring rigorous scientific approaches to tackle five central, interrelated questions:

  • How well can we model forest carbon stocks and drivers of stock changes?
  • What would a probabilistic assessment of forest carbon stocks and risks to stocks through a fusion of large-scale datasets and vegetation model ensembles entail and require?
  • How can we better constrain and validate vegetation model estimates of forest carbon stocks and their drivers with current or forthcoming remote-sensing products?
  • What is the combined climate risk facing various forest biomes and how does this compare to the risk metrics currently used in carbon finance and/or offset markets?
  • What information and platforms are most needed for synthesizing current scientific understanding for forest carbon stakeholders?
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