Forests are becoming younger and smaller Today’s Video of the Day from the U.S. Department of Energy describes how climate change is transforming the world’s forests.
The researchers analyzed satellite data and found that the global average tree size has declined over the last century.
Earth’s trees are also becoming increasingly younger, which is due to a higher rate of tree mortality that is linked to global warming and other factors.
“Unfortunately, mortality drivers like rising temperature and disturbances such as wildfire and insect outbreaks are on the rise and are expected to continue increasing in frequency and severity over the next century,” explained study lead author Dr. Nate McDowell.
“So, reductions in average forest age and height are already happening and they’re likely to continue to happen.” Forests are the predominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, and are distributed around the globe. Therefore there is more than half of the world’s forests that can be found in only five countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Russian Federation and United States of America). The largest part of the forest (45 percent) is found in the tropical domain (Tropical forests), followed by the boreal, temperate and subtropical domains.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory