January 23rd, 2009

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Climate killing trees twice as fast

This alarming article describes a study on the death rate of trees, which has doubled in recent decades. Come to think of it ... I can see this in my yard. We've had more trees die or be blown down in recent years than when I was growing up here.

I'm also reminded that, in very dry harsh areas, there are fewer and smaller trees, on down to brush and then herbaceous or succulent plants. We may be seeing a shift in forest belts, if some places become less able to support trees. That would be ... bad. Like Sahara bad: most of that desert was once forested.

Climate killing trees twice as fast

OREGON, USA: Old growth trees are dying at twice the rate they were in 1955, scientists say, and they're pointing the finger of blame at climate change and resulting drought.

In a study to published today in the U.S. journal Science a team of researchers led by the U.S. Geological Survey tracked 76 plots, each about 0.8 hectares in size, in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and southwestern British Columbia.

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