CR 15:195-205 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/cr015195

Effects of global climate change on the US forest sector: response functions derived from a dynamic resource and market simulator

Bruce A. McCarl1,*, Darius M. Adams2, Ralph J. Alig3, Diana Burton4, Chi-Chung Chen1

1Department of Agricultural Economics and
4Department of Forest Science, Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 77843, USA
2Department of Forest Resources, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-5703, USA
3US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Experiment Station, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
*Senior author; E-mail: . The other authors each made equal contributions

ABSTRACT: A multiperiod, regional, mathematical programming economic model is used to evaluate the potential economic impacts of global climatic change on the US forest sector. A wide range of scenarios for the biological response of forests to climate change are developed, ranging from small to large changes in forest growth rates. These scenarios are simulated in the economic forest sector model and results are summarized in response functions that may be used instead of rerunning the model as improved or altered biological response scenarios arise. The response functions are used to characterize broad impacts of climate change on the sector. We find that aggregate impacts (across all consumers and producers in the sector) are relatively small but that producers income and future welfare 30 to 40 yr in the future are most at risk. The forest sector is found to have adjustment mechanisms that mitigate climate change impacts, including interregional migration of production, substitution in consumption, and altered stand management.


KEY WORDS: Climate change · US forest · Sector analysis · Response function


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