How Might Global Climate Change Affect Life on Earth?
ESU501  Forest Impacts

Different climate models project how the range of forest species will change as global warming continues into the future. Researchers anticipate that many species of deciduous trees such as beech trees will move northward and to higher elevations where conditions are cooler. In the process, coniferous tree species such as pine may be displaced. Changes in the distribution of tree species will, in turn, have an impact on biological diversity.



Projected climatic warming will shift the range for many North American forest species up to 300 kilometers northward. If Earth warms 2°C (3.6°F) over the next 100 years, species will have to move at a rate of about 2 miles per year.

United Nations Environment Programme

Forest Links

US Global Change Research Project: Forests

EPA Global Warming Impacts; Forests

National Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change (Summary): Forests