Climate change turned the mountain pine beetle from an intermittent pest to relentless scourge, the villain behind a forest kill-off of historical proportions. And just to make this unfortunate cycle complete, the beetle will make climate change worse.
270 megatons of carbon will be added to the atmosphere between now and 2020 -- and that's just in British Columbia, which has experienced the worst outbreak, but is far from alone. The beetle's native range stretches from northern Mexico through northern British Columbia, and spans forests over most of the western United States.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Climate Change's little helper, a relentless scourge: Mountain pine beetle to aid release of 270 megatons of carbon over next 10 years
The lessons we're learning in the loss of British Columbia forests can be applied elsewhere and so the tragedy there may help prevent the same elsewhere.