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Effects of Simulated Forest Cover Change on Projected Climate Change – a Case Study of Hungary

Author(s): GÁLOS, Borbála | JACOB, Daniela | MÁTYÁS, Csaba

Journal: Acta Silvatica & Lignaria Hungarica
ISSN 1786-691X

Volume: 7;
Start page: 49;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: climate change | forest cover change | drought probability

Climatic effects of forest cover change have been investigated for Hungary applying theregional climate model REMO. For the end of the 21st century (2071–2100) case studies have beenanalyzed assuming maximal afforestation (forests covering all vegetated area) and completedeforestation (forests replaced by grasslands) of the country. For 2021–2025, the climatic influence ofthe potential afforestation based on a detailed national survey has been assessed. The simulationresults indicate that maximal afforestation may reduce the projected climate change through coolerand moister conditions for the entire summer period. The magnitude of the simulated climate changemitigating effect of the forest cover increase differs among regions. The smallest climatic benefit wascalculated in the southwestern region, in the area with the potentially strongest climate change. Thestrongest effects of maximal afforestation are expected in the northeastern part of the country. Here,half of the projected precipitation decrease could be relieved and the probability of summer droughtscould be reduced. The potential afforestation has a very slight feedback on the regional climatecompared to the maximal afforestation scenario.
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