Study: Vermont forests vulnerable to climate change

This article discusses how Vermont forests will be deleteriously affected by climate change.

The study is an assessment of the vulnerability to climate change of the various forest types throughout New England and northern New York state, the result of a collaboration of researchers from universities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

The study found from 1901 through 2011 the mean annual temperature across the region increased by 2.4 degrees F, with even greater warming during winter. “Precipitation patterns also changed during this time, with a slight trend toward greater annual precipitation and a substantial increase in extreme precipitation events,” the report said.

Mean annual temperatures for New England are projected to increase from 3 to 8 degrees F by 2100.

The boreal forest tree species — balsam fir, black and red spruce — that are at the southern extreme of their range in northern New England, will feel the worst effects of warmer temperatures and variable precipitation. Northern forest-dwelling moose, already suffering a population decline due to increased deer tick and brainworm from warmer, wetter weather, likely face further population decline.

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