Climate change presents a host of potentially complex and difficult challenges. Future predictions about the effects of climate change are disconcerting and require the immediate attention and action of governments around the world.Whatever your position on the causes of climate change it is clear that temperatures have risen sharply over the past 30 years.
A general consensus among scientists is that rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases are responsible for increases to the global mean temperature which has risen by 0.76°C since 1850 and is expected to continue to increase by 1.8-4.0°C by the end of this century (IPCC, 2007). Climate change is also thought to be responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of extreme weather events over the past decade (IPCC, 2007).
Often used indicatively to illustrate increases in greenhouse gases, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentrations have increased noticeably since the start of the industrial revolution to a level of 382.6 ppm, which is 35% above pre-industrial concentrations (Gaurnet, 2008).
The temperature increase we have already seen, if permanent, is enough to suggest we need to change the tree species we plant. What has worked in the past, may not be right for the future. Global precipitation regimes are also expected to shift away from long-term trends, causing some areas, such as southern Australia to become warmer and drier, with less rainfall. Consequently, the forest ecosystems throughout the world will be subject to change in one way or another.
For reasons such as those stated above, Select Carbon doesn't take any decision lightly. We conduct a comprehensive, and at times, exhaustive, due diligence on any project we're involved with. Furthermore, we carefully consider the latest science and the implications it may have on a potential forestry investment.
Select Carbon believes now is the time to be innovative, forward thinking and constructive about how we best use trees in our landscape for carbon sequestration.
As countries around the world move to implement long-term strategies to try and deal as best they can with global warming, Australia has an opportunity to integrate trees back into the landscape intelligently, not only for carbon, but for a number of values trees inherently offer, such as biodiversity, shade, shelter, improved water quality, salinity management, pasture improvement and many other reasons.