RICHMOND, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/25/13 -- Non-profit Campus California, which aims to help those affected by climate change and poverty, is speaking out about climate change's negative impact on American forests in a statement to the press. In a new article released by USA Today, the devastating reality of the situation is highlighted.
NASA satellites illustrate that years of drought and high temperatures are working to thin the forests found in the upper Great Lakes region and the eastern United States. A NASA study states that nearly 40 percent of the Mid-Atlantic's forests lost tree canopy cover, ranging from 10-15 percent between 2000 and 2010. Other areas that were impacted include southern Appalachia, and the southeastern coast. The Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada were also affected.
Author and research scientist Christopher Potter comments on the findings stating, "There has been a series of summers -- growing seasons for trees -- that have been deficient in moisture. When you combine that with higher temperatures, it's stressing the trees." This issue is making trees, particularly southern pines and the upper Midwest's hardwoods, more vulnerable to new pathogens and insects.
Climate change is also increasing the risk of forest death through wildfires, insect infestations, drought, and disease outbreaks. Campus California agrees with this assessment. When more trees die, the planet becomes even warmer, since trees help to absorb heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions. In 2010, trees absorbed 13 percent of U.S. emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The study that Christopher Potter is involved in is based on a series of monthly images that come from NASA satellites, launched in 2000. They constantly monitor changes, and provide a detailed picture of evolving forests, wetlands, and grasslands over periods of time. In western parts of Alaska, higher temperatures have helped by expanding the growing season for trees.
Charity group Campus California has adopted sustainable practices as they aim to help those dealing with global climate change and poverty. In a statement to the press, the group comments on these recent developments noting, "Campus California is committed to empowering individuals to have an impact on global climate change. There are many alternatives to deforestation even when it is caused by Mother Nature." Campus California went on to state, "If we learn to live sustainably within our own communities, plant trees whenever and wherever we can find space, and even work toward self reliance on local food sources like community or family gardens we can start to have a positive effect on our environment."
Campus California is a charitable group that works to assist those dealing with the negative impact of poverty and global climate change. The group works on projects that promote sustainability, while helping to reduce California's solid waste.
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