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Alarming rate of forest loss threatens a crucial climate solution

by Georgina Gustin, InsideClimate News

The world’s forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening a resource that scientists say is a crucial “natural solution” for controlling climate change on an urgently short timescale.

Last year, the planet saw its fourth-highest level of tropical tree loss since the early 2000s—about 30 million acres, according to a new analysis published Thursday.

Those losses have continued even as more corporations and countries made commitments to preserve forests, and as scientists emphasized that maintaining forests must be a global priority—as crucial to staving off the worst risks of climate change as cutting fossil fuel use.

Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/25042019/deforestation-annual-global-tree-loss-tropics-climate-solution-carbon-storage-wri?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=1adddafcf8-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-1adddafcf8-327824881

‘Whole thing is unravelling’: climate change reshaping Australia’s forests

by Graham Readfearn, The Guardian

Australia’s forests are being reshaped by climate change as droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures and bushfires drive ecosystems towards collapse, ecologists have told Guardian Australia. Trees are dying, canopies are getting thinner and the rate that plants produce seeds is falling. Ecologists have long predicted that climate change would have major consequences for Australia’s forests. Now they believe those impacts are unfolding.

“The whole thing is unravelling,” says Prof David Bowman, who studies the impacts of climate change and fire on trees at the University of Tasmania. “Most people have no idea that it’s even happening. The system is trying to tell you that if you don’t pay attention then the whole thing will implode. We have to get a grip on climate change.”

According to the 2018 State of the Climate Report, produced by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, large parts of the country are experiencing increases in weather patterns favourable to fires. The report found that rainfall has dropped in the south-east and south-west of the country, temperatures have warmed by an average of 1C, and a “shift to a warmer climate in Australia is accompanied by more extreme daily heat events”.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/07/whole-thing-is-unraveling-climate-change-reshaping-australias-forests?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco