Effects of Climate Change on the Boreal Forests in Canada
The boreal forest in Canada covers about a third the whole boreal forest in the polar region of the northern hemisphere. There are also other countries covered partly by the boreal forest like Russia and the Nordic and Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Finland and Sweden. In Canada, the boreal region covers about 60% of the land area, from Labrador and Newfoundland to the provinces of Alaska and Yukon. This area is mainly covered by Coniferous forests with a lot of biodiversity (Woynillowicz, et al, 67).
The boreal forests store carbon which controls the rate of global warming caused by human activities. The process is natural through photosynthesis where by the trees and plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. The absorption of carbon by the trees and plants in the forest helps in slowing down global warming. This makes the forest to be the largest store of carbon which exceeds other carbon storage areas such as the Amazon. It contains about 22% of all the carbon stored on earth. Carbon is normally store in forests, terrestrial vegetation, soils, lake sediments and peat (Tarnocai, 228).
The ecosystem in the boreal forests is suited for storage of carbon since it holds a huge amount of carbon per unit area than any terrestrial ecosystem. The boreal forest stores twice the amount of carbon stored by the tropical forests, and about three times of carbon stored by temperate forests. This is because the boreal forests are in the cold temperature regions which reduces the rate of decomposition and the wetlands are rich in carbon. The carbon stored in the boreal forest in Canada is about 208 billion tonnes, with about 56% of it stored in peat. The remaining 44% is stored in rocks, other vegetation, and soil. The boreal forest in Canada stores carbon that is worth 26 years of emissions from burning fossil fuels. This means that Canada should preserve the boreal forest since it affects the whole planet (Randerson, 1131).
One of the effects of climate change in the boreal forest in Canada is that it can affect bird population in response to global warming. According to a report by BirdLife Internationa, about 11% of the bird species in the world are at risk of global warming, and it is predicted that about 6% of the bird species may disappear in the nest 20 or so years. If the planet continues to heat up, the optimal habitats for birds’ species may not exist anymore. This is because most birds’ species depend on the boreal forest as their habitat, breeding ground and source of food, and if the climate of the boreal forest keeps changing, it can have adverse effect on the birds and other living organisms that depend on it as a habitat (Randerson, 1132)
Global warming due to depletion and climate changes in the boreal forest can also affect the birds that migrate over long distance. This is because the birds may not find food by arriving late during...