5.6.2 Global costs to forestry
Alig et al. (2004) suggest that climate variability and climate change may alter the productivity of forests and thereby shift resource management, economic processes of adaptation and forest harvests, both nationally and regionally. Such changes may also alter the supply of products to national and international markets, as well as modify the prices of forest products, impact economic welfare and affect land-use changes. Current studies consider mainly the impact of climate change on forest resources, industry and economy; however, some analyses include feedbacks in the ecological system, including greenhouse gas cycling in forest ecosystems and forest products (e.g., Sohngen and Sedjo, 2005). A number of studies analyse the effects of climate change on the forest industry and economy (e.g., Binkley, 1988; Joyce et al., 1995; Perez-Garcia et al., 1997; Sohngen and Mendelsohn, 1998; Shugart et al., 2003; see Table 5.4 and Section 5.4.5).
If the world develops as the models predict, there will be a general decline of wood raw-material prices due to increased wood production (Perez-Garcia et al., 1997; Sohngen and Mendelsohn, 1998). The same authors conclude that economic welfare effects are relatively small but positive, with net benefits accruing to wood consumers. However, changes in other sectors, such as major shifts in demand and requirements for energy production, will also impact prices in the forest sector. There are no concrete studies on non-wood services from forest resources, but the impacts of climate change on many of these services will likely be spatially specific.