Sunday, January 25, 2009

Death of US Forests - 'effects compound over time'

What's interesting in this article is that the 'experts' are stumped as to why this is happening. They say it is not caused by:
-air pollution
-fire suppression impacts

Then they say 'Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits' are likely contributors. Okay, here's a little bit of insight. What causes regional warming? Here's a clue. 300 million cars driving every day in the USA, pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere (forgetting the impacts of coal-power stations). So pollution by humans is a factor, in that the pollutants induce warming, and warming induces dessication.
It's really dumb to say the forest die off is caused by warming and stop there. What is causing the warming? And we want to bailout the automakers? Might want to think about why we would want to do that.
clipped from
Image: Pine trees killed by beetles
Pine trees killed by beetles are shown in their rusty red color near Grandby, Colo., west of Denver. A new study found forest mortality has doubled and tied warming temperatures to drought as well as beetle infestations.

The mortality rate of old-growth forests across the West has more than doubled in recent decades, and those forests are now losing more trees than they gain, according to a new study that identified the most probable cause as warming temperatures.

The trend is happening at every elevation, in trees of different sizes and of various species, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and universities reported in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

"Our long-term monitoring shows that tree mortality has been climbing, while the establishment of replacement trees has not," USGS scientist Phil van Mantgem, a co-leader of the research team, said in a statement.

Tree mortality doubled in just 17 years in the Pacific Northwest and 25 years in California.
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