Science overview

The science on climate change and forests is rapidly evolving. There is no question about the urgency and benefits associated with a rapid transformation to climate smart practices such as establishing forest carbon reserves on public lands and converting tree plantations back into climate resilient forests capable of producing sustainable supplies of wood and other ecosystem goods and services. But many questions remain about what these practices are, their potential in different regions, and what policies are needed to make such practices the norm and not the exception.

To keep track of the science and update our members, decision makers and the public the Forest Carbon Coalition reviews and synthesizes the most salient research in the field. Our synthesis is organized by key topics, listed below. Links go to pages that synthesize the best available information and contain titles, abstracts, and key takeaways from the publications we think are particularly useful. As new research is published, the synthesis and list of publications is updated.


Topics – click to advance to the relevant science synthesis:

  • What role can forests play in mitigating the climate crisis? >>
  • Why restoration of native forest ecosystems is critical for making the land more resilient to climate change >>
  • Climate smart forest practices – what are they and what are the economic benefits to communities, workers, and landowners?? >>
  • What are the climate impacts of industrial forest practices? >>
  • What is the carbon intensity of various wood products and how do they compare with substitutes? >>
  • Why burning woody biomass for energy is a setback for climate policy. >>
  • What policies are needed to phase out industrial forest practices and scale up climate smart alternatives? >>
  • What changes to greenhouse gas inventory protocols are needed to account for the emissions associated with industrial forest practices? >>