Climate change has been caused by the increased amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, emitted into the atmosphere. Studies predict that climate change will both directly and indirectly affect the earth’s forests, including those in Pennsylvania. It will change their composition and increase the impacts of fires, droughts, storms, pests and pathogens. Because trees cannot easily move to new habitats like some animals or smaller plants can, it will take them much longer to adapt to changes in climate.
Students will become familiar with issues associated with forests and climate change. They will illustrate their school’s contribution to climate change in an examination of energy use and determine the amount of forest needed to offset these carbon emissions. To quantify carbon uptake by trees, students will utilize tree corers and measurement skills to take the DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) of selected trees. Their conclusions can be expanded to a discussion of the global complexities of climate change.
Supplemental Information and Further Exploration: