Warming Temperatures Hurt Western TreesTweet
Media Source: National Public Radio
Program Name: Science Friday
Show Name: Warming Temperatures Hurt Western Trees
Broadcast Year: 2009
Original Link: http://sciencefriday.com/segment/01/23/2009/warming-temperatures-hurt-western-trees.html
Climate change has increased temperatures over land in the higher latitudes in the Northern hemisphere. The death of trees in old growth forests has been a devastating effect of temperature rise caused by climate change. These massive forests in Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, and other western states have seen the loss of mostly old growth conifer trees such as sequoias, spruce, and pine. Changes have been recorded through lots of data collected over 20-30 year periods. Though the changes seem a bit subtle now, mortality compounds over time, and soon it could rapidly increase to an out of control and irreversible rate. Rising temperatures of 1 degree F have caused changes in precipitation, for example more rain rather than snow, plus an earlier date of snow melt in the spring. Pine beetles can attack and kill the already vulnerable trees. Ozone in the atmosphere is also bad for these trees, but its effect is not as strong as the rising temperatures have been. In the future, trees are predicted to migrate to adapt to temperatures as well as the animals that live in them, though biodiversity will most likely be lost. In order to combat and save the forests, people must make an effort to control the other factors to allow trees to adapt to the temperature change.