Ali senescent trees to make way for new, vigorous

Ali Nowicki Professor MoldehauerComp and Rhet13 January 2018 Climate Change and Forests In the movie An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore it makes the compelling case that Climate change is real, and man made, but a dictionary defines climate change as a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels (“climate change”). Climate change affects our forests greatly. In the United States, forests occupy approximately 740 million acres, about one third of the country’s total land area (“Climate Impacts on Forests.”). A changing climate may worsen many of the threats to forests, such as pest outbreaks, deforestation, fire and droughts. Insect directly affect tree health. Insects are considered among the most important factors influencing the productivity of different forests all over the world. Climate change has already had uncommon, effects on almost every aspect of life on Earth, and insect life is no exception.  Climate change is slowly warming temperatures all over the world. Places that once would have been too cold for insects will now be able to live comfortably live in those areas. When certain insects migrate to regions where they have never lived before, the ecosystem such as forests in general are not  prepared for them (“Climate Change Affects Pests and Pest Control First.”). Insects are an important part of forest ecosystems that kill weakened and senescent trees to make way for new, vigorous forests. They also help recycle forests by decomposing trees to replenish the soil and supply important nutrients necessary for forest growth (Insects and Disease)With the warming temperatures and insects moving to new areas, it is clear that forests cannot compete with the changing ecosystems. Also in many parts of the world, climate change has affected seasons such as winter. In regions where winter has become lighter, it makes it easier for insects to survive throughout the winter season.. Insects like mosquitoes, can live until spring (“How Climate Change is Creating a Global Pest Problem.”). If insects keep surviving through winter, their populations will just keep climbing and spreading throughout the world makes forests adapt, and at the rate the insects are moving forests can’t keep up.Deforestation is the driving force behind the loss of our forests. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, deforestation can be defined as the “permanent removal of standing forests”.(“About the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory). Deforestation has a huge impact on everything around us. The effects are great and include loss of habitats, increased greenhouse gases, and soil erosion. Forests are vital parts of many ecosystems and it is estimated that 25% of the world’s total greenhouse gas production comes from deforestation alone (“Deforestation: The Shrinking Forests of Our Planet.”). Furthermore, forests around the world store more than double the amount of carbon dioxide than is found in the atmosphere. Because forests can absorb and store carbon over an extended period of time, they are considered “carbon sinks”. Then the carbon remains stored in the forest ecosystem, but can be released into the atmosphere when forests are burned (“What are carbon sinks?”). This means that when areas are deforested, the carbon dioxide stored in those trees is released into the atmosphere causing climate change to the world around us. By ensuring a healthy ecosystem that includes forests also means sustainable preservation of other species that live in forests (LUNGU, Marina). In addition to deforestation, severe wildfires have been observed to occur more frequently and this trend is thought to continue throughout the next centuries. Since the global temperature is increasing and the climate is changing because of the the greenhouse-gas, it is leading to a likely rise in the incidence of wildfires. Since Plants take in carbon dioxide, which they need to survive, through tiny pores in their leaves called stomates. Plants also lose water through these same pores every time they open—and the higher the ambient temperature, the more water they lose therefore causing a forest fire (“Forest Impacts.”). According to “Forest Impacts.” of  Climate Change Connection, that because of forest fires it means that as carbon dioxide levels double in the atmosphere, the seasonal severity rating for forest fires are expected to increase by 40%. Going hand in hand, drought severity and drought-associated forest disturbances are expected to increase with climate change. Droughts can often cause wildfires due to the warming climate, the leaves and or barks of trees can become so warm that they start to burn, spreading wildfires. Although droughts can affect forests both directly and indirectly. In regions where seasonal droughts are common, forest ecosystems respond through various physiological and morphological adaptations (Zhang, Qingyin).In regions where drought is less common, responses can be substantial because ecosystems are not well adapted to drought conditions. Drought alters ecosystem processes such as nutrient, carbon, and water cycling in ways that are not yet well understood. Drought tends to slow nutrient uptake by plants and reduce retranslocation of foliar nutrients with premature leaf senescence. Dieback that results from combinations of drought and natural enemies can severely reduce carbon exchange between atmosphere and biosphere. Recent large diebacks have had global impacts on carbon cycles, including carbon release from biomass and reductions in carbon uptake from the atmosphere (Dewes, Candida F). Therefore causing droughts within our forests. To sum it up, Climate changes directly and indirectly affect the growth and productivity of forests through changes in temperature, rainfall, weather, and other factors. In addition, elevated levels of carbon dioxide have an effect on plant growth. These changes influence complex forest ecosystems in many ways. In particular climate change affects pest outbreaks, deforestation, fire and droughts. Works Cited”About the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL).” EPA,       Environmental Protection Agency, 29 Sept. 2017″climate change”. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 11 Jan. 2018.

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