Natural Climate Solutions
The role of forests and sustainable forestry in the fight against climate change is becoming an increasingly important factor in capturing the true value of forest ecosystems. Our Natural Climate Solutions bring forest carbon into our client’s core decision making procedures, paving clear paths on how to value and manage forests for the sustainable future of our planet.
Accurate Quantification of Climate Impacts of Forests and Forestry
Our Natural Climate Solutions solve forest-climate-puzzles by integrating climate impacts to the core solutions of Simosol, building on more than 10 years of experience in knitting together modern IT technologies and forestry.
Forests as ecosystems play a critical role in regulating the climatic conditions on our planet. In the context of climate change and global warming, forests sequestrate and store carbon in the biomass, therefore reducing the carbon concentration in the atmosphere. This biomass can still provide other benefits in parallel, such as improving and protecting biodiversity values and other ecosystem services, while providing a sustainable source of renewable raw material for many products and commodities. Not only is carbon locked away in these products, but new forests can continue to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere.
About Forests and Climate
However, the resulting climate impact of forests (and their management) is highly complex. Forests do not grow equally in space and time. Different tree species and species-combinations generate diverse stand dynamics. Forest growth can also be impacted by management activities, or it can change drastically due to natural disturbances.
Over time, significant quantities of carbon can also be stored in the soil through various stages of decomposition. And these direct forest impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. Downstream carbon impacts are dependent on what products are manufactured, how these are produced, what is the end-use, and what are the alternative products (and their alternative climate impacts).
The Real Climate Impact
There’s also a loop back to forests – while the products are being produced and used, their real climate impact over time is very much connected to various considerations such as the decision to regenerate the harvested areas, the species, the objectives and the capability of these new forests to sequester carbon.
Solving this puzzle for each unique forest and forestry case can be a cumbersome task, but it is imperative if we want to capture the real value of forests and make truly impactful decisions and actions. With Simosol’s Natural Climate Solutions you can start making these steps, today.
“It’s a pleasure to execute forestry IT projects with Simosol. They know from half a word what we want and need… and they deliver it.”
– Risto Laamanen, Information Systems Manager, Metsähallitus
Our People to Help You
Head of Carbon and Earth Servicesjuho.firstname.lastname@example.org +358 407767945
Juho is heading the Natural Climate Solutions, developing and commercializing Simosol’s carbon related product portfolio. Building on top of solid track-record as an expert in sustainable forest management, forest resource assessment, and forest investment advisory, he is heading the integration of climate smart forestry into Simosol’s forestry IT and advisory solutions.
Head of Forest Valuationsmiika.email@example.com +358 503038066
Miika is heading Simosol’s forest valuation business including the implementation, development and sales of the related services and products. He has nine years of diverse project-work experience in the forest sector including assignments related to forestry, forest industry, forest policy and field experience from 16 different countries. His main expertise is forest economics with a focus on forest valuations and investments.
Forest Carbon Expertvictoria.firstname.lastname@example.org +358 503304800
Victoria develops and commercializes Simosol’s carbon modelling services. Her academic background is in Forest Bioeconomy Business and Policy at the University of Helsinki. Having studied the overall climate impact of Finnish forest industry, she is specialized on the substitution effect of wood use.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What type of forests are best for carbon?
If we think solely maximization of the carbon impacts of forests – two key elements here are:
- the carbon storage of the forest, and
- change of those carbon storages over time due to natural biological processes.
In very simple terms: mature old forests maximize the storages, whereas young developing forests have commonly the largest annual change.
Maximization of carbon impacts of forests is in the end all about maximization of vegetative biomass volume. How much of this volume can be sustained, and how fast this can accumulate, are very much dependent on the ecosystems boundaries defined, for example, by climatic and soil conditions.
A key aspect in this issue is also to consider the time span. It’s relevantly simple to get a short-term burst of fast biomass accumulation by pioneer species – but these species are usually not optimal for maximization of long-term cumulative biomass storage.
However, maximization of forest biomass (hence carbon storage), might introduce interesting concepts and more species diverse forest management practices in the future, as the value of forests is not defined solely by commercially usable timber.
What is the best way to manage forests for maximizing climate benefits?
The right way to manage forests is an extremely complex question – and at the core of forest management simulation, optimization, and scenario analysis.
Optimal management for climate benefits focuses on having the right mix of species and the right kind of management activities at the right time, which will maximize long-term carbon removal and storage away from the atmosphere.
As such, it is a very case-specific question. No two forest sites are in the end exactly the same when we factor in the weather and soil conditions and for example historical human interventions. Furthermore, what we can produce, or what is expected to be produced, from the forest products like timber, varies from case to case.
When talking about the climate impacts of forests and their management, it is important to consider the whole forest carbon cycle including wood-based products which are manufactured from the timber (and biomass) that is removed from the forest site. This includes things like operational emissions from harvesting, transportation, and manufacturing, a mix of products produced, end-users of those products, and alternative products (and their climate impacts) if those products would not be produced.
The last point is about estimating the avoided emissions due to having the wood-based products present. It all seems extremely complicated – and frankly, it is.
Do forest biodiversity impacts go hand in hand with forest carbon impacts?
In addition to the carbon impacts of forests and their management, biodiversity is another critical aspect of sustainable forestry. Biodiversity loss is a global crisis, but it’s not isolated from the carbon and climate impacts of forests.
First of all, biodiversity has many linkages to climate change as a whole – climate change, i.e. changing climatic conditions, is threatening many critical ecosystems and their natural balance, hence adding its own share to the crisis of biodiversity loss.
At the same, however, biodiversity is also a key metric when estimating an ecosystem’s resilience to disturbances and changes caused by climate change – the more diverse a system is, the more ways to cope with change it usually has.
When it comes to carbon and biodiversity values in quantitative terms – these also go hand-in-hand in many cases. High biodiversity often means also a highly efficient use of available resources, as individual species “tap in” fully to the available resources such as light, water, nutrients, and space.
However, when we start to really optimize things, there certainly are some trade-offs as well – especially if we think short-term vs long-term. In short term, monocultures of fast-growing plants might maximize biomass accumulation and hence carbon removal from the atmosphere, but this results in relatively poor sites from a biodiversity perspective.
However, the synergies of these metrics often improve as we push the optimization target further to the temporal horizon. Development of diverse systems might take more time, but if we can afford the time, increased biodiversity can help us to capture the full biomass (i.e. carbon) potential of the ecosystem.