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The impacts of growing human populations and economies are both rapidly and directly transforming forests in many areas. However, little known are the pervasive effects of the ongoing climatic changes on the condition and status of forests around the world. Global patterns are now evident with the global tree mortality that is now above its usual mortality levels as it is affected by drought and heat-related forest stress and dieback. Thus, the possibility of an increased risk of climate-induced dieback is now being considered within many of the forests and woodlands of today. A focus will be given on the climatic water stress that is driven by both drought and warm temperatures. However, studying the trends in forest mortality and predictions has its limitations with such a number of information gaps and scientific uncertainties. First is the absence of an adequate global data on forest health status, followed by the fact that only a few tree species have the researchers an adequate quantitative knowledge with regards to its physiological thresholds of individual tree mortality from chronic or acute water stress. Lastly, the adequate knowledge of the feedback and non-linear interactions between climate-induced forest stress and other climate-related disturbance processes are lacking among the current scientists.
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Climate-induced forest dieback: An escalating global phenomenon?