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How does climate change affect forests and grasslands?

Around the world, the effects of climate change continue to be felt. Changes include a global decrease in the size of glaciers, a decrease in snow cover for many regions in the Northern Hemisphere, warmer ocean and surface temperatures, and rising sea levels.

Here in our National Forests and Grasslands, these shifts include:

  • More frequent wildfires that burn larger areas
  • More severe problems with insects, pests, and diseases threatening trees and crops
  • Snowpack decline in mountainous regions due to decreased snowfall and shorter winters
  • Plant and animal ranges shifting northward to accommodate warmer temperatures
  • Threatened watersheds due to more frequent water shortages, increased pest and fire severity, and shifts in ecosystem health

Faced with these complex and serious threats, the Forest Service continues to work to help our Nation’s Forests and Grasslands adapt to climate change.

To effectively address these unprecedented challenges, we need to work together. Learn what you can do to help fight climate change

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