In a front page news story released on Oct. 1, 2011, New York Times reporter Justin Gillis outlined the positive impact forests have on global resilience to climate change. Forests absorb more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide people put into the air by burning fossil fuels. However, forests themselves are vulnerable to the effects of global warming and human development.
“Even in forests that are relatively healthy now, like those of New England, climate risks are coming into focus. For instance, invasive insects that used to be killed off by cold winters are expected to spread north more readily as the temperature warms, attacking trees,” Gillis wrote.
More information on the changing states of forests worldwide is available as an interactive New York Times map.
Also, Gillis is accepting reader questions for a follow-up story. Please reach out to him by following this link.
For complementary reading on the loss of New England forests to development, read this article by David Kittredge.