Climate Change to Decrease Carbon Storage, Forage
Climate change will reduce the production of natural forage for livestock in California, as well as reduce the ability of forests to store carbon dioxide, according to a new study in Climatic Change. These predicted changes would decrease economic output for the state and are some of the hidden costs of climate change. PR Newswire reports that the authors determined that climate change would cause a consistent decline in conifer woodlands and forests, which are important sequesters of carbon dioxide, preventing its release to the atmosphere. In addition, expected changes in the amount, timing, and type of precipitation in California are likely to result in a consistent decline in natural forage production for livestock, requiring ranchers to grow or buy extra hay.