Research press release


Scientific Reports

Climate science: A reduction in water yield from US National Forests



今回、Ge Sunたちは、20の全球気候モデルから導き出された気候予測を用いて、米国内の170か所の国有林と国有牧草地による水供給と炭素隔離に対する気候変動の影響可能性を調べるためのモデルを作製し、2100年の生態系の生産力(バイオマス生成速度)が最大24%上昇する一方で、全流出量が4~7%減少するという推定結果を得た。Sunたちは、2100年までの間に降水量が増加する可能性が高いが、気温の上昇を原因とする蒸発量と蒸散量の増加によって相殺されてしまうという考えを示している。


Climate change may result in a reduction in the amount of fresh water (water yield) that the US National Forests and Grasslands contribute to the national water supply, according to a study published in Scientific Reports this week.

Forested land covers approximately 29% of the US, supplying over half of the country’s fresh water and offsetting between 10-20% of current US fossil fuel emissions. The National Forests account for 9% of the total land area and provide 14% of the national water supply.

Using climate projections derived from 20 global climate models, Ge Sun and colleagues created a model to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on the water supply and carbon sequestration by the 170 National Forests and Grasslands in the US. The authors found that ecosystem productivity - the rate of generation of biomass - is projected to increase by up to 24%, while water yield is projected to decrease by 4%-7% by 2100. They suggest that although precipitation levels are likely to increase during this period, they will be offset by increasing levels of evaporation and transpiration owing to increases in air temperature.

The authors warn that an increase in carbon sequestration and ecosystem productivity may result in increased forest growth which, when coupled with a drying trend, could lead to an increased risk of wildfire. They also argue that water supplies and aquatic habitats could be threatened by a reduction in water yield.

doi: 10.1038/srep24441


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