Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2020-84
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2020-84

  26 Nov 2020

26 Nov 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Climate Change Projections of Terrestrial Primary Productivity over the Hindu Kush Himalayan Forests

Halima Usman1, Thomas A. M. Pugh2, Anders Ahlström3, and Sofia Baig1 Halima Usman et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Sciences & Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan
  • 2School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
  • 3Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, SE-221 00, Sweden

Abstract. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration [CO2] caused by anthropogenic activities has triggered a requirement to predict the future impact of [CO2] on forests. The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region comprises a vast territory including forests, grasslands, farmlands and wetland ecosystems. In this study, the impacts of climate change and land use change on forest carbon fluxes and vegetation productivity are assessed for HKH using the Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator (LPJ-GUESS). LPJ-GUESS simulations were driven by an ensemble of three climate models participating in the CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) database. The modeled estimates of vegetation carbon (VegC) and terrestrial primary productivity were compared with observation-based estimates. Furthermore, we also explored the net biome productivity (NBP) and VegC over HKH for the period 1850–2100 under the future climate scenarios RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. A reduction is observed in modeled NBP and VegC from 1951–2005 primarily due to land use change. However, an increase in both NBP and VegC is predicted under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. The findings of the study have important implications for management of the HKH region and inform strategic decision making, land use planning and clarify policy concerns.

Halima Usman et al.

 
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Halima Usman et al.

Halima Usman et al.

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Short summary
The study assesses the impacts of climate change on forest productivity in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. LPJ-GUESS was simulated from 1850–2100. In first approach, the model was compared with observational estimates. The comparison showed a moderate to weak agreement. In the second approach, the model was assessed for the temporal and spatial trends of net biome productivity and carbon pool. A reduction was found from 1951–2005 however, increase in both variables were predicted in 2100.
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