The impacts of climate change are being felt in forests across the world. Read about new climate-change-related studies and other forestry news in this week’s Forest Digest:

  • “Climate Change Is Making Trees Grow Rapidly”Discovery News
    Scientists from Germany’s Technische Universität München have found that the two dominant European tree species — European beech and Norway spruce — are growing at more rapid rates compared to the species’ rates in 1960. Researchers believe the faster rate of growth is caused by rising temperatures, longer growing seasons and increased amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogren — all of which are related to climate change. Though faster growth could be viewed as a good thing, researchers noted that the faster-growing trees seem to age faster, as well.
  • “Climate change may add billions to wildfire costs, study says”Los Angeles Times
    Wildfires in the United States cost as much as $125 billion annually, and a new study released by a group of environmental organizations found that climate change and its effects could increase that total by $60 billion by 2050. Also by that year, the area in which fires burn is estimated to rise between 50 and 100 percent, a statistic that attributed to the wildfire cost projection increase.
  • “Letting the forest burn”Arizona Daily Sun
    Forests across the nation, like the Kaibab National Forest in this article, are in various states of revising their forest management plans. Across the West, many plan revisions are emphasizing the important of more frequent, lower intensity fires as a key tool to promote greater health of the ecosystem.
  • “The Meteor That Wiped Out the Dinosaurs Changed Earth’s Plant Life, Too”Newsweek
    According to a new study, the meteor that hit Earth millions of years ago and is believed to have caused the extinction of dinosaurs also had a profound impact — pun intended — on the planet’s flora, especially forests. Prior to the meteor, forests consisted of slow-growing evergreens, but these plants were overtaken by deciduous plants — fast-growing and flowering — which now reign over the vast majority of the world’s modern forests.