agroforestry

In a soaking rain, Pederson eyeballs a plot through an angle gauge, a forester’s tool for estimating forest density and species composition.

Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

Forests in the south-central United States are some of the country’s most productive and diverse. They also sit in a warming “hole”—an area where the progressive rise in temperature affecting most of the continent hasn’t yet taken hold. A team from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is studying how these forests might shift—or even disappear—when climate change does catch up with them, as expected.

by |March 15, 2016
Williams extracts a core from a massive red oak. Specimens up to 400 years old can be found in isolated spots, but it is the last 80-some years the scientists are mainly after. Those are the years covered by modern instrumental record, and the rings can be closely correlated with those to paint a picture of how trees have fared under known conditions year to year. This will allow the team to project how they are likely to react under future scenarios.

How Will Shifting Climate Change U.S. Forests?

One foggy spring morning just after a hard rain, Park Williams was tromping through the woods deep in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Toiling down a steep slope, he supposedly was keeping a simultaneous eye out for rattlesnakes, copperheads, poison ivy and big old trees. Williams seemed mostly focused on the trees, though; attention to the other stuff was just slowing him down. Williams studies how forests react to changes in climate, and the Ozarks’ deeply dissected hills and hollers—what some might refer to as typical hillbilly country—are a kind of ground zero for this.

by |March 15, 2016
Photo: Josh Fisher

Finding Solutions to Environmental Conflict: Q&A With Josh Fisher

In a rapidly warming world, conflicts inevitably arise between those affected by dwindling resources and changing climate conditions. Josh Fisher’s work centers on trying to avert conflict and provide opportunities for cooperation through understanding the relationships between conflict, environment and development.

by |June 18, 2013
Amazon, Rosario's farm, Brazil

Rosario’s Farm: Rising Tides, Shrimp from the Forest

Rosario Costa-Cabral and her brothers harvest hundreds of fruits, oils and wood products from the stream-laced forest of the Amazon River delta. But the climate here is changing: Tides rise higher, and seasonal floods are growing worse.

by |January 23, 2013