Harvested area did not increase abruptly – How advancements in satellite-based mapping led to erroneous conclusions

Johannes Breidenbach, David Ellison, Hans Petersson, Kari T. Korhonen, Helena M. Henttonen, Jörgen Wallerman, Jonas Fridman, Terje Gobakken, Rasmus Astrup, Erik Næsset
2021 Zenodo  
Using satellite-based maps, Ceccherini et al. (2020) report abruptly increasing harvested area estimates in several EU-countries beginning in 2015. They identify Finland and Sweden as countries with the largest harvest increases and the biggest potential effect on the EU's climate policy strategy. Using more than 120,000 field reference observations to analyze the satellite-based map employed by Ceccherini et al. (2020) we found that the map's ability to detect harvested areas abruptly
more » ... after 2015. While the abrupt detected increase in harvest is merely an artifact, Ceccherini et al. (2020) interpret this difference as an indicator of increasing intensity in forest management and harvesting practice. In their response to comments, Ceccherini et al. (2021) revised their estimates to some degree but still used inadequate methods leading to an overestimation of harvested area in Finland and Sweden. Ceccherini, G. et al. (2020). Abrupt increase in harvested forest area over Europe after 2015. Nature 583, 72-77. Ceccherini, G., et al. (2021). Reply to Wernick, IK et al.; Palahí, M. et al. Nature 592(7856): E18-E23.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.4972189 fatcat:t4oygmtyerghxmpdwyuisenpy4