The redwoods — Earth’s ancient giants — stand at a new crossroads of environmental change where urbanization, habitat fragmentation, pollution, invasive species and climatic changes threaten them in ways they have not yet experienced in their long history on Earth.

 

More than 144 million years ago, in the age of the dinosaurs, redwoods’ ancestors flourished across the globe. In response to an ever-changing climate, they gradually retreated from the vast majority of their range. Now, throughout their current range, redwoods are encountering temperature increases. With rising temperatures, the coast redwoods have less coastal fog, and the giant sequoias face reductions in snowpack and earlier annual snowmelt.

In partnership with researchers from Humboldt State University, UC Berkeley and Natureserve and citizen scientists like you, we are studying the impacts of climate change on redwood growth, carbon storage and forest biodiversity through the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative (RCCI). Results from this research will help focus League efforts regarding where and how to best protect redwood forestland as environmental conditions change.

With your help, the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative (RCCI) will succeed!

2013-14: Historic Research Yields Hope

Homer Hayward believed strongly in giving back to the community in which he lived and worked, and he devoted much of his time and prosperity to the future of those around him. Through their Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation, the Haywards’ generous League donations have helped bring our groundbreaking discoveries to the world of redwood science.

The Foundation generously provided support for our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative (RCCI), in addition to sponsoring the 2013 Redwood Ecology and Climate Symposium, where we announced research findings that show how our ancient coast redwood and giant sequoia forests are faring as climate changes. The findings drew an unprecedented level of media coverage from around the world. Learn more about these discoveries below.


Explore Redwoods Research

RCCI Forest Network

Learn about how a network of old-growth forest plots is helping the League’s research team determine the impact of climate change on the redwood forest. See the initial discoveries our scientists have made about how redwood forests store carbon and redwood trees have grown over time.

 

Decoding Tree Rings

Tree ring analysis provides critical information on tree ages and how redwoods throughout California respond to climate conditions. See the initial discoveries our scientists have made about the age of the oldest-known coast redwood.

 

Citizen Science

Help Save the Redwoods League scientists track climate change impacts on the redwood forest by becoming a citizen scientist. Learn more about our Redwood Watch and Fern Watch projects.

 

From the Field

Check out the RCCI Field Notes pages for photos, videos, updates and more from the RCCI scientists in the field as they conduct their research.


Funding Critical Research

With help from our Initiative Advisors and Research Partners, the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative will study the ecology of coast redwood and giant sequoia ecosystems in a changing world to inform forest conservation for the next 100 years and beyond.

The Leadership Funding Partners are helping lead the way to secure adequate funding for this important investigation. However, we still need your help.

Your donations are a critical part of the solution. Please make a gift today!