World Forestry Day

Forest

Today, March 21st, is World Forestry Day!

Did you know that climate change affects the world’s forests, and in turn, their animal inhabitants? Here are several ways that increasing temperatures impact forests:

  • Forest fires: Hotter temperatures cause longer summer droughts and drier conditions, increasing the number and frequency of forest fires.
  • Forest die-off: The stress from droughts results in increased tree mortality in all major forest types around the world.
  • Beetle outbreaks: A greater number of beetle and other insect breakouts is associated with warmer temperatures, which leads to increased destruction of tree bark.
  • Leaf growth: As temperatures increase, the timing of when leaves emerge and fall from the trees changes.  This impacts carbon storage, water resources, and habitat condition.

Learn more at the USGS blog.

 

Animal Fact Guide’s Blog is Carbon Neutral

carbon neutral offers and shopping with kaufDA.de kaufDA,  a team in Germany, has started an initiative called “Make it green” whose goal is to reduce carbon emissions worldwide.  One aspect of the program is to offset the carbon footprint resulting from the use of the Internet by both raising public awareness about protecting the environment and by planting more trees.  Working with the Arbor Day Foundation, kaufDA will plant one tree in the Plumas National Forest in Northern California for every participating blog. 

If you have a blog, you can have a tree planted in your honor by spreading the word about the program.  See the kaufDA website for more details.

About Carbon Emissions and Global Warming
The climate change phenomenon known as global warming is a result of increased carbon emissions from driving cars, home energy use, and the energy used to produce all of the products and services we consume.  The steady upward trend in temperatures has, and will continue to have, a drastic effect on the planet and its inhabitants.   For example, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has predicted a loss of two-thirds of the world’s polar bears by 2050 due to declines in ice habitats.  According to a Climactic Change journal report by the World Wildlife Fund, by 2070, the sea levels near Bangladesh will rise 11 inches, submerging 96% of the Bengal tiger habitat.  Many animals will be threatened by the change and loss of habitat due to global warming.

About Planting Trees
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) assumes a yearly absorption of one tree to be approximately 10kg (20lb.) of carbon dioxide emissions. The Arbor Day Foundation is working to plant more trees in the Plumas National Forest in Northern California, which lost 88,000 acres of forest due to fires in 2007.

Aside from planting trees, you can help curb global warming by reducing your carbon emissions. This includes walking or taking public transportation instead of driving, using energy saver appliances and light bulbs, buying locally grown produce, recycling, and more.

Scientists Propose Assisted Wildlife Relocation in Light of Rapid Climate Change

In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have created a scoring system to assess whether animals should be relocated to cooler areas to help animals survive on a rapidly heating planet.  Although this idea was balked at in the past because interfering with present ecosystems could spell disaster, scientists now warn that the situation has become so escalated that action needs to be taken.

Two arguments back their position. First, scientists believe that the climate is changing at such a rapid rate that animals cannot evolve quickly enough to adapt to their changing environment.  Second, because humans have altered the landscape so drastically with urban development, animals do not have the space to migrate north themselves.

For more information, see CBCNews.ca.