Net Biome Production Vulnerability

Key messages:

  • Indicator of vulnerability of net biome production, a measure of net carbon balance
  • The majority of areas in the EU are projected to face low to moderate vulnerability in the future
  • Some northern latitudes are projected to face moderate to high vulnerability due to high decreasing changes in NBP under a +2°C global warming

Why is the content of this map important?

NBP is described in the IPCC as the net carbon accumulated by the terrestrial biosphere, and represents an approach to measure long-term carbon storage. Regions are seen as more vulnerable if NBP is expected to diminish in the future, coupled with a low capacity to adapt to changes in climate, estimated by adaptive capacity indicators.

Which sectors are affected by this result?

Changing NBP has important implications for the forestry and ecosystem services sectors, and has an impact on how much carbon can be stored in terrestrial ecosystems, which is relevant for climate change mitigation. Changing NBP could have large impacts on timber products as well as services such as recreational activities.

What is shown on the maps?

The map depicts estimated future vulnerability of regions to changing NBP, which is derived from an indicator-based approach. Vulnerability is the combination of the potential increase of impacts with the ability - or lack thereof - of a region to adapt to these changes, measured by its adaptive capacity (AC). Estimates of AC are combined with an estimate of changing NBP from impacts modeling, transformed into an indicator of the severity of change. An area with a high loss of NBP, combined with low AC, is seen as highly vulnerable, whereas regions with little to no loss in NBP and high AC are viewed as less vulnerable. Most regions of the EU are projected to face low vulnerability to changing NBP, with the exception of some northern latitudes.

Details and further information:

This map is the combination of impacts with adaptive capacity. These impact indicators were derived from a multi-model ensemble estimate of changing NBP in grams per square meter per year. On the other hand, estimates of AC were produced via an indicator approach, which can be seen in the Atlas map on the adaptive capacity of ecosystem services.

Additional information:

To identify vulnerability, adaptive capacity projected for different regions was combined with potential impacts estimated by the LPJmL and CLM models. LPJmL was driven by the five mandatory climate simulations whereas for CLM only four out of the five simulations could be used(see topic on Forest Production)  Hence, the ensemble consists of 9 simulations in total.

vulnerability categorical values
0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16-20
very low low moderate high very high


Keith Williges

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)