"Spruce forest at Holma" by W.carter / Public Domain

Climate Change And Deforestation Mean Earth’s Trees Are Younger And Shorter

May 29, 2020

By Nathan Rott

The forests of today will not be the forests of tomorrow.

Rising temperatures, deforestation, development and climate-induced disasters are transforming the very makeup of Earth’s forests, new research published in the journal Science finds.

Older, bigger trees — stalwarts in their respective ecosystems — are being lost at an alarming rate, making the planet’s collective forests shorter and younger.

The shift is being driven at different rates by different causes in different places, the study’s authors say, but the consequences will be global.

Old growth forests absorb and store massive amounts of climate-warming carbon dioxide. They provide habitat for rare and critically endangered species and foster rich biodiversity. And they’re disappearing fast.

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