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Forests and climate in the news

I’ve seen several interesting stories about changes in forests over time and how climate is impacted by those changes.  Here are a few that I thought were particularly interesting.

Nature posted a long news article back in 2014 that I just ran across about how deforestation of the tropical rainforests is changing the local climate there by altering moisture and wind patterns in the region.  It’s a good primer on how changing one part of climate can affect many other parts.  You can read it here.

Climate Central posted a story today about how the recent rash of wildfires in the West due to the exceptional drought there is adding extra carbon to the atmosphere as well as more particulates.  However, they point out with a reduction of the drought and better land management strategies, the Western forests could remove a lot of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, particularly since the forests there are among the most productive in the world.

Also this week, the Southern Research Station of the US Forest Service posted a new blog on the outlook for mid-South forests for the next 50 years at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/compass/2015/04/23/outlook-for-mid-south-forests-the-next-50-years/.  The posting lists both challenges and opportunities foresters will have in the next few decades and provides a link to a full report, the Southern Forest Futures Project, which provides a full discussion of this topic.

Source: Brian Stansberry, Commons Wikimedia

Source: Brian Stansberry, Commons Wikimedia