General Article Climate change: the forest connection

Topic Selected: Climate Change
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Forests’ effect on the climate

Forests play an important role in regulating the Earth’s temperature and weather patterns by storing large quantities of carbon and water. This regulatory function has a profound effect on both the local and the global climate.

Locally, trees provide shade, which in turn lowers summer temperatures and prevents the soil from drying out. They reduce heat loss from the ground in winter and reduce storm damage by providing shelter from wind.

Globally, forests regulate the global carbon cycle, having a profound effect on the climate. As well as this, deforestation is also contributing to climate change. Indeed, the CO2 released each year from forest loss is higher than that released by our yearly transport emissions. The continued existence of forests is particularly necessary if we are to halt what is known as runaway climate change. Runaway climate change is the point whereby increases in temperature lead to more GHG

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