Bulletin of Forestry Science / Volume 7 / Issue 2 / Pages 85-98
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New climate scenarios – smaller drought risk for European beech?

Borbála Gálos & Zoltán Somogyi

Correspondence

Correspondence: Gálos Borbála

Postal address: H-9400 Sopron, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky E. u. 4.

e-mail: galos.borbala[at]uni-sopron.hu

Abstract

Impact assessments and development of adaptation measures in forestry require robust information on long-term climate tendencies. To analyse how climate change scenarios and the uncertainty of climate models might affect conclusions of forestry impact studies, results of regional climate model ensembles run on representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) and emission scenario (A1B) of the IPCC were used by the end of the 21st century from which temperature-precipitation indices (FAI, EQmod, TIb) were calculated that have been used to define suitable macroclimate and mortality thresholds for extreme droughts for European beech for Zala County (SW Hungary).
Our results demonstrate that, in contrast to the robust warming and drying tendency of summers for the A1B scenario, the sign of the changes of precipitation projected by the RCP scenarios is rather unclear, and the simulated precipitation changes have a rather wide range and uncertainty. Despite these, all climate models agree in a significant increase of temperature that leads to more and more arid climate conditions by the end of the century. As a consequence, the macroclimatically suitable areas for beech are expected to disappear from the investigated region even assuming the lowest radiative forcing. Independently from the applied scenario, climate model and drought index, it is likely that more frequent drought periods will occur that are hotter than the most extreme event observed in the last century, so that the drought risks in forestry can be larger than what has ever been observed so far. Our results confirm that despite their uncertainty, climate change projections can already be robust enough to detect potential impacts and to support the development of adaptation measures in forestry.

Keywords: climate change, climate projection, beech climate, meteorological drought, drought frequency

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    Cite this article as:

    Gálos, B. & Somogyi, Z. (2017): New climate scenarios – smaller drought risk for European beech?. Bulletin of Forestry Science, 7(2): 85-98. (in Hungarian) DOI: 10.17164/EK.2017.006

    Volume 7, Issue 2
    Pages: 85-98

    DOI: 10.17164/EK.2017.006

    First published:
    21 November 2017

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