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Research article2008Peer reviewed

The probability of wind damage in forestry under a changed wind climate

Blennow, Kristina; Olofsson, Erika


We (1) estimated how the possible changes in wind climate due to climatic change may affect the probability of exceeding critical wind speeds (CWS) expected to cause significant wind damage within a forest management unit located in southern Sweden, (2) analysed how the probability of exceeding an approximate CWS as observed in the management unit would change in different regions in Sweden if expecting a similar kind of forested area to occur in different geographical locations. The topography of the management unit was relatively gentle and the forests were dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Seven regions across Sweden were selected for comparison of possible future probability of damaging wind speed. The model-system WINDA was modified and used for calculations of the probability of wind damage together with regionally downscaled climate change scenario (CCS) data. In total, two climate scenarios downscaled using the RCAO model for the control period 1961-1990 and four for the period 2071-2100 were used. The CCSs represent fairly central projections on a 100-year time scale in terms of global mean warming. Although there is ambiguity between different CCSs, the results indicated that the present pattern of more windy conditions in southern than in northern Sweden will remain. For most sites the probability of exceeding the CWS from westerly to south-westerly directions was indicated to remain comparatively high and the probability of damaging wind from south-westerly to south-easterly directions was indicated to increase in many places. For southernmost Sweden increasing probability of exceeding the CWS from the north-westerly to south-easterly wind directions were indicated for all but one CCS. The results were discussed with respect to spatial planning in forestry under a changing wind climate.

Published in

Climatic Change
2008, Volume: 87, number: 3-4, pages: 347-360
Publisher: SPRINGER