Implications of climate change on mitigation potential estimates for forest sector in India

  • N. H. RavindranathEmail author
  • Rajiv K. Chaturvedi
  • N. V. Joshi
  • R. Sukumar
  • Jayant Sathaye
Original Article


Climate change is projected to impact forest ecosystems, including biodiversity and Net Primary Productivity (NPP). National level carbon forest sector mitigation potential estimates are available for India; however impacts of projected climate change are not included in the mitigation potential estimates. Change in NPP (in gC/m2/yr) is taken to represent the impacts of climate change. Long term impacts of climate change (2085) on the NPP of Indian forests are available; however no such regional estimates are available for short and medium terms. The present study based on GCM climatology scenarios projects the short, medium and long term impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems especially on NPP using BIOME4 vegetation model. We estimate that under A2 scenario by the year 2030 the NPP changes by (−5) to 40% across different agro-ecological zones (AEZ). By 2050 it increases by 15% to 59% and by 2070 it increases by 34 to 84%. However, under B2 scenario it increases only by 3 to 25%, 3.5 to 34% and (−2.5) to 38% respectively, in the same time periods. The cumulative mitigation potential is estimated to increase by up to 21% (by nearly 1 GtC) under A2 scenario between the years 2008 and 2108, whereas, under B2 the mitigation potential increases only by 14% (646 MtC). However, cumulative mitigation potential estimates obtained from IBIS—a dynamic global vegetation model suggest much smaller gains, where mitigation potential increases by only 6% and 5% during the period 2008 to 2108.


BIOME4 Climate change Forests GCOMAP IBIS India Mitigation potential Net primary productivity 



This work was supported by the Climate Economics Branch, Climate Change Division, US Environmental Protection Agency through the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, through Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The IBIS modeling component of the research was supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. We thank IITM, Pune, and in particular K Krishna Kumar and Savita Patwardhan for providing HadRM3 climate projections under the NATCOM project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. H. Ravindranath
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajiv K. Chaturvedi
    • 2
  • N. V. Joshi
    • 2
  • R. Sukumar
    • 2
  • Jayant Sathaye
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Sustainable TechnologiesIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Center for Ecological SciencesIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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