A water vapor, methane, nitrogen, oxygen are major

A natural process of keeping the earth’s temperature livable by trapping the gasses in the atmosphere is called greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrogen, oxygen are major greenhouse gases exist in the atmosphere. To sustain the life of plants and animals living on the earth, these gases in the atmosphere has to be in certain ratios. Any increase or decrease of these gases in the atmosphere will adversely affect the living organisms on the earth.

 

Climate change refers to the change in weather patterns such as temperature, precipitation and wind over a period. The scientific community univocally agrees on the phenomenon of global change (IPCC, 2001). The main cause of climate change is the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere and is a serious threat to sustainable livelihood and development. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), earth’s average surface temperature during the 20th century has increased approximately by 0.6°C (IPPC, 2007). Most of the warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years occurring since 1981 and with all the 10 of the warming years occurring in the past 12 years (VijayaVenkataRaman et al., 2012).The impact of climate change is seen in many places, from rising sea level to the melting of snow, changing weather patterns etc. The effect of climate change is observed in wide-varying sectors such as, in ecosystem, water supply, human health (VijayaVenkataRaman et al., 2012). The record shows that the temperature of water has risen by 0.302 F since 1969 (Kunwar and Yalew, 2012). Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show that Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers of ice between 2002 and 2005. Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades (Peterson and Baringer, 2008). Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30% (VijayaVenkataRaman et al., 2012). Climate change is not only a concern of developed or underdeveloped country’s government but is a concern of each and every individual dwelling on the earth and who are directly and indirectly affected by climate change. Climate change is a global concern because it affects us in our everyday life. The increase in temperature increases the demand of more energy to maintain comfortable air temperature in our home and office. The change in flowering and fruiting time of plants affects our economy. The extreme weather conditions such as storms, drought, flooding affects our food market making price to skyrocket. Not only this, these extreme weather patterns are life threatening which give rise to epidemic diseases and viruses. Climate change not only affect humans but all the living things around including plants and trees. We all are aware that forests and forestry provides many benefits to rural populations all over the world. Besides this, forest and woodland are an important part of our landscape. Climate change has begun to affect the growth and condition of forest, bringing imbalance in the eco-system.

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 Forests provide ecological, economic, social and aesthetic services to
natural system as well as the humankind. Not only this, forests and trees have
an additional advantage of maintaining a healthy climate by absorbing carbon
dioxide, and releasing oxygen and other chemicals which are beneficial to the
environment. Likewise, forests provide several advantages such as a home for
biodiversity, provision of food, medicinal and forest products, regulation of
the hydrological cycle, protection of soil resources, recreational use,
spiritual needs and aesthetic values (Bonan et.al, 2008).

 

Climate change will affect vegetation and productivity by changing the
water supply from that of before. Although only a small portion of water
absorbed by the plant is used in photosynthesis, a shortage of water affects
the rate at which photosynthesis occurs. Lack of water causes stomata to close
due to which there will be shortage of CO2 which will affect photosynthesis and
eventually growth and development of tree will be hindered. Along with the
change in water supply the change in climate will affect the vegetation by
changing the air temperature and solar radiation. The intensity of light is
important for the maximization of the rate of photosynthesis. With greater
light intensity, as chlorophyll is bleached from the

 

 

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chloroplast and the plants stomata are closed to slow down the water
loss. CO2 is essential for light reaction in all plants that carry on
photosynthesis. It has been determined that the photosynthesis rate is
significant if the atmospheric CO2 concentration is 0.1%. Forests are
particularly sensitive to climate change, because of the huge structure and
long life they cannot adapt themselves to the rapid climate change. The C3
plants are responding to the increasing concentration of CO2 by decreasing the
stomata conduction to reduce transpirational water loss and increasing
assimilation rate. According to a recent meta-analysis done on the stomatal
response to the increased CO2 in forest, it was found that the stomata
conduction was reduced by 21%. This reduction was seen more in gymnosperms then
in angiosperms (Lindner, 2010). Some international research has been focused on
understanding the physiological response of vegetation to climate change as
well. The research carried out by (Hallegatte, 2009) focusses on understanding
plant responses to one key driver of climate change, increased CO2 and came to
a conclusion that increased in water use efficiency increases in response to
elevated CO2 which is largely driven by a decline in stomatal conduction.
Although the biomass is enhanced under elevated CO2, other constraints such as
water availability and nutrients become limiting (Hallegatte, 2009). The
increase in carbon also assist root growth which may enable plants to exploit
soil water in a deeper and larger range of soil hence increasing the negative
effect of water stress and better adapting to a water limited environment
(Lindner et al., 2010). Other changes in the chemical atmospheric environment
affecting tree growth include the depletion of ozone layer in the atmosphere
which will increase drought in trees because trees will be more susceptible to
the UV and UVB rays that is harmful to the trees as well as all the living
beings on the earth (McLaughlin et al., 2007).

 

Another crucial impact of climate change is an increase in the intensity
of forest fire. With decrease in precipitation and increase in vapor pressure
(caused by increase in air temperature), it is likely that extreme fire weather
events will increase from around 1 event every 2 years (~2000) to around 1
event per year (~2050) (McVicar et al.2010). So, the occurrence of wildfire is
likely to occur more frequently. Forest fire can increase soil erosion due to
water losing its capacity to absorb water. . In extreme cases, the topsoil can
undergo complete sterilization. Due to the effect of fire the soil dwelling
creatures are directly affected (Certini, 2005). Vigorous growth
by vegetation following forest fires will have long impact on water yields in catchments.

 

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Some other effects of climate change on temperate forests will be the
increase of insects and pathogens. Temperature increase is associated with
decrease in precipitation which will accelerate development and lowered mortality
rates for various species of insect herbivores (Karolewski et al., 2007). The
rising summer and winter temperature, increased CO2 will improve the survival
and growth and even increase reproduction of some pest species. Insects and
diseases are the first indicators of climate change, and there are already are
new kind of pathogens in the forest and farm now a days along with a remarkable
fluctuation of the certain insects and pathogen population, which adds the
voice that the climate is changing (FAO 2010). For example, the mountain pine
beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in
western North America has increased massively with range extension because the
winter mortality has decreased due to warmer temperature (Lindner et al.,
2010). Long period of warmer vegetation will enhance the development of bark
beetles, allowing the establishment of additional generations and multiplying
population their population. For the pest insects such as L. dispar, L. monacha
have their range expanded as well as shifted due to climate change (Karolewski
et al., 2007).

 

For tree species, it has been noticed that they have lengthen their
growing season of about 11 days in Europe from the early 1960s to the end of
the 20th century, mostly due to early leaf emergence and later leaf senescence
(Vitasseet.al, 2011). From this what we can understand is that, due to the
lengthening of the growing season there must be increase in the plant
productivity. Early leaf emergence and later leaf senescence allow an increase
in the length of the active period of photosynthesis. According to a research
done by Wilmot in VERMONT, due to climate change the tourism industry is
affected. The forest fall color which attracts tourist is affected due to
climate change. The timing of peak foliage changes due to warmer summer, so the
tourism industry must adapt to timing visits with foliage conditions. Also, the
quality of fall foliage may change due to dry fall weather conditions
(Wilmont.S, 2011)

 

An increase in temperature will have a positive impact on tree growth in
northern and western parts (less water-limited areas) and a negative impact on
southern and eastern part (water limited areas) (Wieser et.al, 2009). The
contrived change in temperature will lengthen the growing season, enhance the
decomposition of soil organic matter and increase the supply of nitrogen. Also
it may have strong impacts on forest productivity and competitive relationships
between tree species. It has been seen that due to temperature increase there
has been a reduction in the tree species in the
Atlantic areas (VijayaVenkataRaman et al., 2012).
Over the last 50

 

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years, a temperature increase of 1.48 c (with stable
annual precipitation) has already resulted in progressive replacement of
European beech (F. sylvatic) by Holm
oak (Quercus ilex) in the higher elevations of the Pyrenees (McKenney et al., 2007). Rising temperature and the
decrease in rainfall will magnify drought risk. Photosynthesis will
decrease during hot climate and so will decrease the biomass. Increase in the temperature is affecting the growth,
reproduction, survival, and spread of the forest pests which will indirectly have an
impact on the ecological relationships among some parasites and predators
(Karolewski et al., 2007). Warmer temperatures have resulted in range
expansions of pests such as pine and oak caterpillars (Thaumetopoea pityocampa and Thaumetopoea processionea) in Europe
and red band needle blight (Mycosphaerella pini) in the United
States (Lindner .M et.al. 2010, Karolewski.P.et.al 2007).Global warming is
expected to cause a decrease in rainfall and an increase in the frequency and
wilderness of forest fires and loss of biodiversity which will alter the whole
dry land ecosystem (Hallegatte.S. 2009). Severe water scarcity and increased
desertification are likely to increase, indicating a trouble to forest and
land. Climate-related changes might cause species range shifts and alter tree
productivity, adding further stress to forest ecosystems. This will put the
livelihood of large population of local communities that rely on the forest for
their survival.

 

The change in the Global temperature will increase the frequency,
intensity and duration of hurricane. This increase in the intensity or
frequency of hurricane will cause sudden and massive tree mortality, complex
pattern of tree mortality and can alter the pattern of forest regeneration too.
This can bring a big turn over in tree species, biomass, mature vegetation etc.
( Dale.H.V et.al, 2001).

 

Likewise, milder winters can reduce winter hardening in
trees, which eventually will increase vulnerability to frost such as in oak
stands in south-western Finland (Lindner et al., 2010). Tree species distribution
may change due to increase temperature and broadleaved deciduous trees are
expected to expand northwards. Forest damage by wind and snow are supposed to
increase (Hallegatte, 2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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