Annually in the United States, forests and forest products capture and store almost 15% of the country’s carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. They have the potential to capture nearly twice as much if we take such actions as planting more trees and using climate-smart practices to manage forests.
But climate change supercharges the traditional stressors on forests, making it harder to harness the full potential of forests. Pests and diseases that attack trees are prevalent, and droughts are frequent. Also, uncontrolled forest fires are larger and more severe. In California alone, more than 162 million trees have died since 2010, largely because of climate change-related stressors.