Forests play a complex role in keeping the planet cool, one that goes far beyond the absorption of carbon dioxide, new research has found. Trees also impact climate by regulating the exchange of water and energy between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, an important influence that should be considered as policymakers contemplate efforts to conserve forested land, said the authors of an international study that appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. “Forests play a more important role in cooling the surface in almost all regions of the Earth than was previously thought,” said study co-author Kaiguang Zhao, assistant professor of environment modeling and spatial analysis at The Ohio State University. Read the full news release written by Misti Crane here.
A new analysis finds that almost all of America’s forests are vulnerable to increased drought and climate change. The study, which was published in February in the journal Global Change Biology, documents drought severity and frequency across the U.S. The analysis “brings together many different perspectives on drought impact in forests, and it is through this effort that the great reach drought can have on forests is clear,” said co-author Stephen Matthews, assistant professor of wildlife landscape ecology at The Ohio State University.