Trees and climate change
As the United Nations Climate conference gets underway in South Africa at the end of the month, we ask whether trees can help save us from the effects of climate change, or are they themselves in danger from the rising temperatures?
Professor Staffan Lindgren, from the University of Northern British Columbia, explains how the milder temperatures have encouraged the rise of the pine beetle, which has already destroyed millions of hectares of forests in Canada, and looks set to march towards the Eastern United States.
Tony Kirkham, the head of the Arboretum at the world famous Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, tells us of the dramatic effects of climate change on native British trees, and how many, like the oak and the horse chestnut, are in danger of disappearing.
And the novelist Tracy Chevalier, author of the best seller Girl with the Pearl Earring, turns her literary attention towards trees and suggests we renew our emotional and spiritual connection to them because they are vital for our survival.
Illustration by Emily Kasriel: our characterful trees under threat from beetles and hotter climates.