Forests and Climate Change in the Southeast USA
- Warming air temperatures will likely increase regional drying regardless of changes in precipitation, and this drying will likely increase wildfire risk across southeastern USA forests.
- Longer growing seasons will likely increase the risk of insect outbreak and very likely will expand the northern range of some species such as the southern pine beetle.
- Continued increases in metropolitan populations coupled with increase water use by forests will likely cause more frequent and severe regional and local water shortages.
- Despite climate and demographic derived changes, forests in the southeastern USA will likely continue to provide a sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).