The warnings of Dr. Seuss' iconic character the Lorax may have come too late: reports out of Australia suggest that the country's native trees may not be able to survive climate change.
According to an article published by the Sydney Morning Herald, experts say that the levels of CO2 could nearly double over the next 35 years. Such a major change in CO2 levels may simply be too much for trees to process effectively.
In order to better understand how trees in Australia will react to higher CO2 levels, researchers at Sydney's new Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment plan to expose trees in the bushland to high levels of the gas, which will be pumped through specially-designed tall structures. The growth patterns of the trees will be measured over a period of 10 years.
"It's taken several years of planning as well as two years of building to have this facility," said the chief research scientist, David Ellsworth, of the University of Western Sydney. "The question of the whole study is how trees will adapt to that higher carbon dioxide concentration and we currently don't know, particularly in the context of native ecosystems in Australia."
In a YouTube clip uploaded last year, the Australian Koala Foundation argues that if the koala forests on the country's east coast alone were lost due to deforestation, it would take trillions of saplings planted across a land mass three times the size of Australia to replace the carbon stored in those trees.
In another video, Andrew Grant from CO2 Australia explains what types of trees can be planted in Australia in order to offset climate change.