Can the Boreal Forest Play an Even Bigger Role with a Changing Climate?

by Leah Feor August 03, 2016

Boreal Forest One Tree Planted

 

Just the other day, I was reading an article about how clouds are starting to make their way to the North & South Poles.  Much like the retreating glaciers - clouds that are needed closer to the equator – are shifting.

Climate change is being felt in many different ways.  Drought, is undeniably one of them.  The temperature on Earth is rising, and rain that is heavily depended upon, is scarce in certain areas.

The article published on World Resources Institute’s website went on to discuss the future effects of this news. 

“This will have huge implications for agricultural production, industrial and energy output, and municipal water provisioning.”

When writing about the 6 pillars of tree planting, I touched upon the relationship between trees and water

“The unique system that allows trees to drink water through the leaves – sending it off into the air as oxygen and water vapor – also pushes the water down through its roots filtering out harmful substances as it flows into our groundwater.”

Water cycle

The image above gives an overview of the water cycle.  Transpiration and evaporation play a big part in ensuring good air quality and healthy watersheds.  Though this image provided by John Evans and Howard Periman of the U.S. Geological Survey is detailed, and a bit complex, it clearly demonstrates the interconnectedness of our environment.

If clouds are pushing towards the boreal zone – an area which circles the Northern Hemisphere, forming a ring around the North Pole – trees are key players to sustain a healthy ecosystem.  Given that a healthy ecosystem in one geographic location can be felt across the globe, I’d conclude that conservation and reforestation of the boreal forest – also known as the taiga - are great ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Beyond this recent finding that relates to the movement of clouds, the boreal forest as it stands today is a captivating place.  It exists within the boreal zone which circles the world and covers 14% of Earth’s land, and contains 33% of Earth’s forested area.  That’s pretty impressive! 

Both people and animals depend directly on this zone and forest.  Given its importance, sustainable forest management plays a big part in the healthy survival of this unique ecosystem.  Forestry companies replant in areas that have been harvested to ensure new trees are in place for future generations.

As the planet shifts and changes, understanding positive contributing factors to making the world a healthier place for everyone is a strong step forward in finding climate solutions.

 What role do you think forests play in reducing the impacts of climate change?  Comment below, or connect through social media.

 




Leah Feor
Leah Feor

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