The reality of GLOBAL WARMING is widely accepted, with optimistic scenarios predicting an increase of 4°C in the next 50 years. But the regional consequences of climate change are not well-known, especially in oceanic areas, and there are still many uncertainties related to climate (local rainfall levels and the gulf stream, etc.), the economy (fossil fuel costs and world trade, etc.) and the environment (pests and diseases, sea level, etc.).
Even if it is not possible to accurately model the impact of climate change on the European Atlantic seaboard, some specific potential threats for Atlantic forests have nevertheless been identified by modelers; for example, tree life cycle disturbance, newly emerging pathogens and the maladaptation of species to new climatic conditions.
This project will set up a network from 37° to 56° N latitude, in order to monitor developments in climate change and to test the efficiency of adaptation measures. It will play a crucial role in helping maintain the sustainability of Atlantic forest resources, as the trees that are being planted now will be harvested in fifty years time and will need to be able to withstand the new climatic conditions.