Tropical forest restoration under future climate change

Tropical forest restoration under future climate change


Climate change mitigation requires a large amount of carbon sequestration from the atmosphere. One major avenue for accomplishing this is looking to tropical forests. These ecosystems are heavy carbon sinks and bring a multitude of benefits to people and the planet. However, these ecosystems are frequently degraded and forest restoration projects may be hindered in the future due to altered fire regimes, extreme heat or drought, and other characteristics of severe climate change.

Goals and Methods

The authors investigate risks to tropical forest restoration due to climate change. They perform simulations with a global vegetation model. This model includes a range of future climate scenarios and ecosystem responses to varying levels of atmospheric carbon.

Conclusions and Takeaways

The authors conclude that carbon sequestration in the tropics will remain within a wide range of future climate conditions. Carbon storage via tropical restoration is removed from the atmosphere for 80 years on average. Though future climate impacts have the potential to reduce sequestration, the authors state that the processes may still play an important role in reducing atmospheric carbon. The carbon sequestration service is highly valuable even at a reduced level.


Koch A, Kaplan JO. Tropical forest restoration under future climate changeAbstract. Nature Climate Change. 2022;12(3):279 - 283. doi:10.1038/s41558-022-01289-6.