Climate Change


Bur Oak at Grand Oaks on Grand Lake, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia. It occurs naturally in N.B. and elsewhere on the eastern seaboard, why not in N.S? Should we introduce this and other oaks species to anticipate climatic warming?

Bur Oak grown horticulturally at Grand Oaks on Grand Lake, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia. It occurs naturally in N.B. and elsewhere on the eastern seaboard, why not in N.S? There are a dozen species of oak in Massachussetts, while there is only one species (red oak) native to NS.

Modelled Potential Species Distribution for Current and Projected Future Climates for the Acadian Forest Region of Nova Scotia, Canada
By C.P.A Bourque et al. 2010. Report to NSDNR. “…results for current and future climates indicate that boreal species in the Acadian forest of NS (e.g., balsam fir, black spruce) would be restricted to the cooler areas of the landscape, i.e., adjacent to cold water bodies (e.g., Bay of Fundy in the northwest and Atlantic Ocean on the south-to-northeast of the province) and high elevation areas, such as the Cape Breton Highlands and Cobequid Hills. Under similar climatic conditions, temperate hardwood species (e.g., red oak, beech) are projected to benefit from elevated GDD in the second (2011-2040) and third tri-decade (2041-2070), and experience some decline in the fourth tri-decade (2071- 2100). The report does not examine the impact of tree species currently south of NS as they move northward and begin to interact with tree species in the Acadian forest region of NS with climate warming.”

Should we introduce bur oak (in photo) and other species to Nova Scotia (i.e. conduct “Assisted Migration”) in order to accelerate adaptation to climatic warming? Currently the NS Government encourages practices that borealise the Acadian forest (i.e., clear cutting, use of herbicides to promote even age softwoods), which reduces adaptation to climatic warming.

Time to plan ahead: the future of the Acadian Forest in an era of climate warming
Post on this website Oct 29, 2017, highlighting a paper published in Forest Ecology and Management in September, 2017 titled Rapid 21st century climate change projected to shift composition and growth of Canada’s Acadian Forest Region by Anthony R Taylor of the Canadian Forestry Service and collaborators.

Silvicultural Discipline to Maintain Acadian Forest Resilience
Peter Salonius 2007. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 24(2): 91- 97.
ABSTRACT: Clearcut harvesting decreases structural complexity, eliminates old and genetically superior legacy trees, extirpates mature-forest floor vegetation, and creates hot and dry postharvest microclimates. The short-lived, exposure-tolerant, boreal tree species that regenerate in large forest openings are believed to be less able, than the late-successional Acadian species they replace, to adapt to the climate warming expected during the next forest rotation. A strip silviculture design is presented that includes limited canopy opening, “no-traffic” areas, maintenance of “full-cycle” survivors, and programmed return harvest intervals that approximate natural gap disturbance as a means of arresting the further increase of boreal species and restoring Acadian species on the landscape. Within the confines of this silvicultural discipline, two management options are described to accommodate extremes of future energy availability.

Exploring adaptation to climate change in the forests of central Nova Scotia, Canada
James W.N. Steenberg et al. 2011 Forest Ecology and Management Volume 262, Issue 12, 15 December 2011, Pages 2316–2327. VIEW ABSTRACT

Climate‐change vulnerability assessment for selected species in three national parks in eastern Canada
Takafumi Osawa, MES thesis, Dalhousie University 2015 “Canadian protected areas have been established with a premise of static distributionsof different ecosystems, an assumption invalidated by climate change. In the Maritimes, there are few local case studies on how to consider and manage protected areas with potentially vulnerable ecosystems. Assuming two climate-change scenarios in the 2080s, we conducted climate-change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) for a range of species in three national parks as case studies in the face of climate change. Specifically, we had two main goals: (1) to conduct CCVAs, including NatureServe’s climate change
vulnerability index, for terrestrial species in these areas, and (2) to explore adaptation
opportunities. Our study then identified some of the most vulnerable species (e.g.,
American marten and brook trout) but also species that are adaptable to climate change.
Identification of species’ vulnerability to a changing climate is the first step in trying to
identify potential adaptation opportunities for these species.


Looking deeper: An investigation of soil carbon losses following harvesting from a managed northeastern red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) forest chronosequence
A. Diochon et al., 2009. Forest Ecology and Management 257:v413-420.
research conducted in Nova Scotia.”Storage of carbon reached a minimum 32 years post-harvest, at which time stores were approximately 50% of the intact forest. However, storage approached the range of the intact forest approximately 100 years post-harvest. ”

Are Protected Areas an Effective Way to Help Mitigate Climate Change? A Comparative Carbon Sequestration Model for Protected Areas and Forestry Management in Nova Scotia, Canada
By Robert Cameron and Peter Bush, 2016. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies 11: 2329-1621. ABSTRACT Abstract: Protected areas have been proposed as a tool for mitigating climate change through carbon storage and sequestration. A C forest model was developed using carbon yield curves from the US Forest Service. The model was run on existing protected areas comprising 514,000 ha and 245,000 ha of proposed protected areas in Nova Scotia, Canada under three scenarios: 1. complete protected status; 2. forestry management which maximized timber yield; and 3. forestry management with environmental considerations. The model suggested 112 million tonnes of C is stored in existing and proposed protected areas and if protected these forests would sequester C over the next 130 years. If the proposed and existing protected areas were managed for forestry they would become a C source for the next 130 years for both maximum yield and forestry management with environmental considerations scenarios. There was a decrease of about 2 percent and 11 percent in total amount of C stored for forestry management
with environmental considerations and maximum yield scenarios respectively. Frequent disturbance from clear-cut harvesting likely increases decomposition of organic matter in the forest which exceeds C sequestration by regrowth. The greatest advantage of protected areas is the greater certainty in land use and in maintaining the current and future C store.

“We cannot log and burn our way out of climate change”
Post on this website Mar 22, 2017. So says Dr. Bill Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental Policy at Tufts University and an author of The Great American Stand: US Forests & The Climate Emergency. “Logging forests and burning trees to generate electricity in place of coal while not counting the emissions may help governments meet their emission goals, but the atmosphere and climate is where the real accounting takes place.” View The Great American Stand: US Forests & The Climate Emergency by Bill Moomaw and Danna Smith, Dogwood Alliance Media Release, Mar 21, 2017.

Natural Resources Canada GHG Calculator confirms Nova Scotia forest bioenergy schemes are worse than coal
Post on this website, Jan 3, 2017. The common assumption that forest bioenergy schemes involving harvest of living trees are carbon neutral was seriously challenged in 2009 when a group of U.S. Scientists published a paper in the prestigious journal Science titled Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error. There has been a plethora of evidence produced both before and since that paper challenging the carbon-neutral assumption.

Granite Geek: Burning wood for power makes sense – or so I thought
Concord Monitor Sep 26, 2017 “It’s no fun to realize that you’ve been wrong, so this isn’t a fun column. For years I’ve supported the idea that whenever possible, Northern New England should swap fossil-fuel power and heat for wood-fired power, taking advantage of our tree-laden status as the “Saudi Arabia of biomass” to boost the logging industry while also doing environmental good. It’s a pretty obvious position. But over the years I’ve come to realize that surprisingly often, this isn’t a good idea from the environmental point of view. Quite the opposite.”

Greenhouse gas emissions of local wood pellet heat from northeastern US forests
Thomas Buchholz, John S. Gunn, David S. Saah. , Energy (2017), doi: 10.1016/ View Accepted manuscript pdf
ABSTRACT: We explored greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of locally-sourced and produced wood pellets to heat homes in the US Northern Forest region. Using data from regional pellet industries, forest inventories and harvests, we analyzed pellet GHG emissions across a range of harvest and forest product market scenarios over 50 years. We expanded an existing life cycle assessment (LCA) tool, the Forest Sector Greenhouse Gas Assessment Tool for Maine (ForGATE) to calculate GHG balances associated with the harvest, processing, and use of wood pellets for residential heating vs. alternative heating fuels. Market assumptions and feedstock mix can create diverging GHG emission profiles for pellet heat. Outcomes are predominantly influenced by biogenic carbon fluxes in the forest carbon pool. An industry-average pellet feedstock mix (50% sawmill residues, 50% pulpwood) appeared to generate heat that was at least at parity with fossil-fuel heating alternatives when harvest levels remain unchanged due to pellet production. If harvest levels increase due to pellet production, using pellet heat increased GHG emissions. If baseline harvest levels drop (e.g., following the loss of low-grade markets), GHG emissions from pellet heat would at least remain stable relative to fossil alternatives.