Climate Change and Forests

Look up at hardwoodsThe world’s climate has been changing and even more change is predicted. One of the major greenhouse gases (GHGs) contributing to climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2). Forests play an important role in reducing carbon in the air as 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 in soils (what is referred to as “carbon stock”), and healthy trees continue to take in additional CO2 on a yearly basis (referred to as “carbon sequestration”). Maintaining and increasing forestland and engaging in community tree plantings can help reduce GHG emissions. Information on Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Management, Climate Change Impacts, and Forest Adaptation to prepare forests for climate change are available from the sources listed below.

 Greenhouse gas and carbon management:

Climate change impacts on forests:

Vermont climate change impacts:

Forest adaptation to climate change:

Forest Service adaptation resources: