What are the major differences between the temperate
deciduous forest regions of North America, the same regions in Northern
Europe, and the same regions in Eastern Asia?
I'm also concerned about the climate differences between these places due
to the varying levels of human impact at these different locations.
I can only speak about the areas that I am familiar with, but having been
in northern and temperate Europe and temperate Asia, there is not a large
difference in deciduous forest type, although the latitudes at which
particular similar species occur does vary some because of differences iin
climate. Immigrants from Europe who initially explored and settled in
North America's northeastern woodlands found them particularly similar to
their own and thus were fairly comfortable (except for a couple of
particularly severe winters that the Pilgrims experienced initially - bad
timing on when they arrived). Climate variations do occur in these places
to a small extent mostly because of human activity, such as changes made in
vegetation cover and air pollution (particularly aerosols). It is thought
that the slight warming in the Artic and the general cooling trend in
mainland China over the last 30-40 years may be caused mostly by the amount
and type of aerosols. There are people at Argonne, as well as elsewhere,
who are presently looking very closely at these relationships.
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Update: June 2012