What Are Scientists Discovering About Climate Change?
Scientists and the people who take care of our National Forests and public lands (land managers) are working together to find out how climate change may affect forests, wildlife, water and other crucial resources.
To learn more about some of our scientists,
see this page featuring scientist information cards.
Carbon storage:Trees need carbon to live and grow. Scientists have found that preserving forests, rather than clearing them for other land uses, maintains U.S. carbon storage capability.
Water:Climate change will have direct and indirect impacts on forest water resources. For information about how water availability and quality could change in the future, visit Southern Forests and Water.
Fire:Fire plays a natural role in the forest ecosystem, and carefully controlled prescribed fire can protect the forest from the massive damage and catastrophic carbon release of a major wildfire. To see what southern scientists are learning about fire, visit the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists (CAFMS). Most wildfires in the southeast U.S. are started accidentally. Unless people learn to be more careful, a growing population means more fires. To find out more about fire visit Wildland Fire in the South.
New ChallengesForest Service scientists still have many unanswered questions. Some of their big questions are listed below.
- What factors affect the ability of forests to absorb carbon?
- How do forest management, climate change, and streamflow interact?
- Can we predict when and where fires will occur, and how can we reduce the risk to people, buildings, and the environment?
- How will climate change affect wildlife communities and habitats?