UBC Undergraduate Research

Management of British Columbia’s forests in response to climate change Sawden, Andrew


Climate change is an undeniable global event. Widely believed to be caused by human activities that release greenhouse gases, this change in climate will occur over a very short period of time when it is compared to natural climate variations. The effect the change will have on environments is somewhat unknown and any predictions are best guess scenarios. In British Columbia the mountain pine beetle has destroyed millions of pine trees but the infestation is not yet done. This may be one of the early symptoms of global warming on the British Columbia environment. Climate change will warm temperatures in BC and increase the annual precipitation. These warmer temperatures allow for longer growing seasons and in many cases, more favorable growing conditions. Studies on Sitka Spruce have found increases in volume growth by as much as 20% and growth in the boreal has been found to increase with higher CO2 levels and warmer temperatures. Climate change does not have to mean beetle epidemics and dying ecosystems. With proactive management British Columbia may actually find benefits in a warming climate.

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