Unit 5 - Health of the Forest Ecosystem
Lesson 2: Climate Change
Climate change refers to an overall change in weather patterns, including changes in temperature, precipitation, and wind.
A changing climate will affect Canada's forests in many complex ways; some will be gradual and others will be sudden and more dramatic.
As our climate becomes warmer due to global warming, Canada's forests may experience some increased threats.
Natural disturbances, such as insect infestations, forest fires, and disease, may become more frequent or severe.
For example, as you will see in the following section on insect pests, global warming has caused an enormous increase in pine beetle infestations. This is due to unusually hot summers and mild winters.
Also, as the local climate conditions change, native species may be out-competed by more adaptable non-native species. This can lead to upheaval throughout the entire ecosystem.
Think About It!How will global warming affect the biodiversity of ecosystems?
How many ways can you think of?
- Rising temperature
- Changes in populations and distribution
- Changing migration and breeding cycles
- Introduction of new diseases and parasites
- The rise of invasive species
- Ocean warming and acidification