New online tool illustrates future forest change

An innovative new tool has been developed in the US to show detailed views of current forests and generate high-resolution images of what these forests are likely to look like in the future. 

Colorado-based Center for Environmental Studies, in partnership with the University of Arizona, created the interactive online tool to educate the public on the likely impact of climate change. 

According to Brian Enquist, ecologist from the University of Arizona, “We have used a very large database of tree and forest occurrences throughout the United States and the latest detailed climate forecasts for the United States to construct forecasts for where the suitable climate will be for trees in the near future. We then utilised new visualisation tools, animation, and high performance computing to create detailed projections for how our local landscapes will change. This enabled us to give the public an easy to use view of where trees in the future will likely grow best.”

The model predicts that the Western United States could lose up to 40% of its forests by 2100.

Click here for source (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies)

Photo: Forest Forecasts