Discussion Paper

Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change: Some Estimates

Jan 26, 2010 | Roger A. Sedjo


This paper is based on a World Bank–sponsored effort to develop a global estimate of adaptation costs, considering the implications of global climate change for industrial forestry. It focuses on theanticipated impacts of climate change on forests broadly, on industrial wood production in particular, and on Brazil, South Africa, and China. The aim is to identify likely damages and possible mitigating investments or activities. The study draws from the existing literature and the results of earlier investigations reporting the latest comprehensive projections in the literature. The results provide perspective as well as estimates and projections of the impacts of climate change on forests and forestry in various regions and countries. Because climate change will increase forest productivity in some areas while decreasing it elsewhere the impacts vary for positive to negative by region. In general, productionincreases will shift from low-latitude regions in the short term to high latitude regions in the long term. Planted forests will offer a major vehicle for adaptation.