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Hilppa Gregow (email), Heli Peltola, Mikko Laapas, Seppo Saku, Ari Venäläinen

Combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost with implications for risks to forestry in Finland under the current and changing climatic conditions

Gregow H., Peltola H., Laapas M., Saku S., Venäläinen A. (2011). Combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost with implications for risks to forestry in Finland under the current and changing climatic conditions. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 1 article id 30. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.30

Abstract

This work focuses on the combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost with implications for risks to forestry in Finland under the current and changing climatic conditions. For this purpose, we employ meteorological datasets, available for the period of 1971–2009 and global climate model (GCM) simulations for the current climate 1971–2000, and periods 2046–65 and 2081–2100 applying the A1B-climate change scenario. Based on our results, the wind and snow induced risks to Finnish forests are projected to increase in the future although the change in the occurrence of strong winds is small. This is because soil frost depths that support tree anchorage from late autumn to early spring in Finland are projected to nearly disappear in the southern and central parts of the country. Heavy snow loads > 30 kg m–2 are becoming more common in southern and eastern Finland despite that the average cumulative 5-day snow loads decrease in these areas by 18 to 50%, respectively. As a result of the changes in the combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost, the risk of climatic conditions making conifers liable to uprooting are projected to increase in southern, central and eastern Finland. In the north, the risk of stem breakage is becoming more pronounced under snow loading > 20 kg m–2. Despite some uncertainties related to this work, we assume that the findings can serve as valuable support for the risk assessment of wind and snow induced damages to Finnish forests and for forestry, in general.

Keywords
A1B-scenario; climate change; snow loads; soil frost; stem breakage; uprooting; wind

Author Info
  • Gregow, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail hilppa.gregow@fmi.fi (email)
  • Peltola, University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail heli.peltola@uef.fi
  • Laapas, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:
  • Saku, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:
  • Venäläinen, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:

Received 6 October 2010 Accepted 18 March 2011 Published 31 December 2011

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.30 | Download PDF

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