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Forests and Climate Change

Look up at hardwoodsEarth's climate has changed and is projected to continue to change. The major reason for this change is an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere compared to pre-industrial levels. Forests play an important role in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air because they take in CO2 through photosynthesis and store carbon in their wood, branches, foliage, and roots. Carbon can be stored for extended periods of time in trees and soils (referred to as "carbon storage" or "carbon stocks"), and healthy trees continue to take in additional CO2 on a yearly basis (referred to as “carbon sequestration”). But, forests are also impacted by the changing climate, like longer growing seasons, warmer winters, and more frequent heavy rainfall events. 


For more information on the impacts of climate change on forests explore these sources: