Climate Change Impacts examine the long-term impacts on water, air, and soil processes of changes in the environment, including changes in weather patterns, how land and water are used, and pollution.
Chemicals added to the atmosphere, to water, or to soils create direct, and in some cases, long-term impacts on forest and rangeland ecosystems. Many of these chemicals come from the daily activities of society, such as driving vehicles, generating electricity, and production in factories. Others impacts come from changing land uses, such as creating a new subdivision in a forest or changing farming practices. Still other impacts can come from changing patterns of natural cycles, including temperature and rainfall patterns. The plants and animals that people add to the environment, such as ornamental trees and shrubs or animals brought to ecosystems, such as trout from Europe or non-native birds, start reproducing and affect the composition and structure of forest and rangeland ecosystems.
Some of these changes affect the volume and the quality of water underground and flowing in streams and rivers, which in turn affects how people can use the water or how they have to treat it before it can be used. Some of these changes affect the quality of the air-whether it is clear or hazy, whether it affects the health of susceptible people, such as those with asthma. Some of these changes affect the health and productivity of forests and rangelands and the soils on which they grow. The challenge our research addresses is better understanding how all of these changes affect the health and productivity of forests and rangelands and the services they provide — clean water and safe flows in streams, clean air, and fertile and productive soils.
Effects of Pollution on Water, Air & Soil Resources
We study the long-term effects of pollution on water, air, and soil resources to wild, managed, rural, and urban forest and rangeland ecosystems.
Effects of Climate Variability & Change on Water, Air & Soil
We examine climate variability and change, and its effects on water, air, and soil in wild, managed, rural, and urban watersheds.