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Learn about the role forests play in the global climate.

33 articles under the Climate category

naturally regenerating forest

Young Forests Capture Carbon Quicker than Previously Thought

New research shows natural forest regrowth, as opposed to reforestation by tree planting, can capture more carbon dioxide from the air than previously thought.

Bobcat fire Los Angeles

6 Graphics Explain the Climate Feedback Loop Fueling US Fires

Increased emissions lead to higher temperatures and more fire-prone conditions. More fires mean more emissions, fueling rapid climate change.

A farm landscape sits near a national park in Costa Rica

Climate Change Will Alter Forests as We Know Them

Fires, pest infestations and stunted tree growth— climate change could have big negative impacts on the forests we know and depend upon.

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10 Big Changes for Forests Over the Last Decade

The last decade was pivotal for the world’s forests. The 2010s saw the rise of unprecedented new commitments — from governments and the private sector alike — to bring deforestation to heel. The UN REDD+ framework, the New York Declaration on Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals set out ambitious targets to conserve and restore millions […]

Madagascar

A Carbon-Neutral Land Sector by 2040? Here’s How to Get There

The 1.5 mark holds special resonance in the climate struggle. In the Paris Agreement, Parties agreed to try to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius for the best chance at avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. This August, a special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unveiled another 1.5 mark: temperatures over land have already risen […]

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Hundreds of US Communities are Making Climate Action Plans, but Few Include Forests

Hundreds of communities across the US are developing ambitious climate action plans to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but most overlook a critical piece of the puzzle: trees. Across the US, forests and trees offset 13 percent of national emissions. With improved conservation, restoration and land management, that number could jump to 21 percent. […]

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Forests in the IPCC Special Report on Land Use: 7 Things to Know

The IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems has just been released.  One thing you don’t see in the title is any reference to “forests” or “deforestation.” As in much of the summary of the report itself, forests are swept into the broader […]

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Indonesia Reduces Deforestation, Norway to Pay Up

Indonesia was one of the few tropical nations to reduce its deforestation rates in 2017, and it’s paying off. Norway announced on February 16 that it will provide the first results-based payment to Indonesia as part of a REDD+ agreement the two nations established in 2010. REDD+, which stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is a framework […]

Costa Rican Forest

By the Numbers: The Value of Tropical Forests in the Climate Change Equation

Protecting tropical forests is essential for achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Global Forest Watch Climate recently released estimated carbon dioxide emissions associated with the 2017 tropical tree cover loss data, and the numbers demonstrate more of what we already knew. If tropical tree cover loss continues at the current rate, it will be nearly impossible to keep warming below the […]

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Conserving Forests Could Cut Carbon Emissions As Much As Getting Rid of Every Car on Earth

By Susan Minnemeyer, Nancy Harris and Octavia Payne New analysis from The Nature Conservancy, WRI and others estimates that stopping deforestation, restoring forests and improving forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or as much as eliminating 1.5 billion cars—more than all of the cars in the world today! […]

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Climate Change Solutions: Bringing Forests to Center Stage

By Nancy Harris and Donna Lee Forests play a huge role in mitigating climate change. Photo by Aaron Minnick/WRI Forests are natural heroes of the climate change story. They soak up nearly a third of fossil fuel emissions, with the potential to absorb even more. But when cleared, they become as villainous as smokestacks, emitting carbon back into […]

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The Roadmap to Decarbonization Won’t Go Far without Land

Farming in the Amazon. Photo by Sam Beebe. Creative Commons license information here. By Nancy Harris, Richard Waite and Katie Fletcher A decarbonization roadmap recently published in Science outlines decadal targets that put into perspective the monumental progress we need to make to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and keep warming below 2°C. […]