Global climate change and forests are linked in numerous ways.  Climate change exacerbates many threats to forests and even creates new ones. We are already seeing ecological disturbances on a global scale — habitats are disappearing and species’ ranges are shifting; intense droughts, devastating wildfires and pest and disease outbreaks are becoming more common. At the same time, when forests are healthy, they play an essential role in mitigating and helping us adapt to climate change.Climate change is caused by an abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that trap heat.

One of the most pervasive greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide, which has been produced in increasing amounts since the Industrial Revolution. Forests sequester and store this carbon.Forests also protect us from climate-related shocks. Through natural processes, trees cool local environments, buffering against hotter summers.

Climate change will also cause more intense rain events, and trees help slow water as it falls.If forests are protected and restored, they can be our greatest allies in protecting the planet from the threat of climate change.

FEATURED PROJECTS:

American Forests is restoring whitebark pine, a keystone species threatened by climate change, in Wyoming at Grand Targhee  and Keg Springs.

American Forests is supporting Resource Institute of Social Education (RISE) in India to restore a riparian area and buffer the effects of climate change.