- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Climate
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Forests account for 60% of lands in Taiwan. Climate change impacts forests in many aspects and is increasingly likely to undermine the ability of forests to provide basic ecosystem services. To help reduce the impact of climate change on Taiwan’s forests, people must be made aware of the relationship between climate change and forests. Based on questionnaires collected from 17 cities in Taiwan, this study applied spatial analysis to assess the respondents’ understanding of climate change and adaptation strategies for forest management. A total of 650 questionnaires were distributed and 488 valid ones were collected. The results show that (1) Most respondents believe that climate change is true and more than half of the respondents have experienced extreme weather events, especially extreme rainfall; (2) Most respondents believe that climate change will affect Taiwan’s forests with the majority recognizing the increasing impact of extreme events being the primary cause, followed by changes in the composition of tree species and the deterioration of forest adaptability due to climate change; (3) Most respondents expressed that forest management should be adjusted for climate change and called for measures being taken to establish mixed forests as well as monitoring forest damage; (4) In order tomore »
Escalating burned area in western US forests punctuated by the 2020 fire season has heightened the need to explore near-term macroscale forest-fire area trajectories. As fires remove fuels for subsequent fires, feedbacks may impose constraints on the otherwise climate-driven trend of increasing forest-fire area. Here, we test how fire-fuel feedbacks moderate near-term (2021–2050) climate-driven increases in forest-fire area across the western US. Assuming constant fuels, climate–fire models project a doubling of forest-fire area compared to 1991–2020. Fire-fuel feedbacks only modestly attenuate the projected increase in forest-fire area. Even models with strong feedbacks project increasing interannual variability in forest-fire area and more than a two-fold increase in the likelihood of years exceeding the 2020 fire season. Fuel limitations from fire-fuel feedbacks are unlikely to strongly constrain the profound climate-driven broad-scale increases in forest-fire area by the mid-21st century, highlighting the need for proactive adaptation to increased western US forest-fire impacts.
Wildfire, Smoke Exposure, Human Health, and Environmental Justice Need to be Integrated into Forest Restoration and ManagementAbstract Purpose of Review Increasing wildfire size and severity across the western United States has created an environmental and social crisis that must be approached from a transdisciplinary perspective. Climate change and more than a century of fire exclusion and wildfire suppression have led to contemporary wildfires with more severe environmental impacts and human smoke exposure. Wildfires increase smoke exposure for broad swaths of the US population, though outdoor workers and socially disadvantaged groups with limited adaptive capacity can be disproportionally exposed. Exposure to wildfire smoke is associated with a range of health impacts in children and adults, including exacerbation of existing respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, worse birth outcomes, and cardiovascular events. Seasonally dry forests in Washington, Oregon, and California can benefit from ecological restoration as a way to adapt forests to climate change and reduce smoke impacts on affected communities. Recent Findings Each wildfire season, large smoke events, and their adverse impacts on human health receive considerable attention from both the public and policymakers. The severity of recent wildfire seasons has state and federal governments outlining budgets and prioritizing policies to combat the worsening crisis. This surging attention provides an opportunity to outlinemore »
Broadening participation in engineering is critical given the gap between the nation’s need for engineering graduates and its production of them. Efforts to spark interest in engineering among PreK-12 students have increased substantially in recent years as a result. However, past research has demonstrated that interest is not always sufficient to help students pursue engineering majors, particularly for rural students. In many rural communities, influential adults (family, friends, teachers) are often the primary influence on career choice, while factors such as community values, lack of social and cultural capital, limited course availability, and inadequate financial resources act as potential barriers. To account for these contextual factors, this project shifts the focus from individual students to the communities to understand how key stakeholders and organizations support engineering as a major choice and addresses the following questions: RQ1. What do current undergraduate engineering students who graduated from rural high schools describe as influences on their choice to attend college and pursue engineering as a post-secondary major? RQ2. How does the college choice process differ for rural students who enrolled in a 4-year university immediately after graduating from high school and those who transferred from a 2-year institution? RQ3. How do community membersmore »
One promising approach to mitigate the negative impacts of insect pests in forests is to adapt forestry practices to create ecosystems that are more resistant and resilient to biotic disturbances. At the stand scale, local stand management practices often cause idiosyncratic effects on forest pests depending on the environmental context and the focal pest species. However, increasing tree diversity appears to be a general strategy for reducing pest damage across several forest types. At the landscape scale, increasing forest heterogeneity (e.g., intermixing different forest types and/or age classes) represents a promising frontier for improving forest resistance and resilience and for avoiding large-scale outbreaks. In addition to their greater resilience, heterogeneous forest landscapes frequently support a wide range of ecosystem functions and services. A challenge will be to develop cooperation and coordination among multiple actors at spatial scales that transcend historical practices in forest management.