Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Climate Change Extremely Bad for Planet's Forests.

If we go Business As Usual (IPCC RCP 8.5 carbon emission line) we'll have climate change that will impact the world's forests severely. A mortal threat to the planet's three trillion trees by wicked intense forest fires, like the ones in California this summer and in the recent past.

From the New York Times:

­Areas in the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico had major fires in 1996 and 2011. 
The woodlands have yet to regenerate. Photo Credit: Nick Cote for The New York Times        

NEAR COCHITI CANYON, N.M. — The hills here are beautiful, a rolling, green landscape of grasses and shrubs under a late-summer sky. But it is starkly different from what was here before: vast forests of ponderosa pine. The repeated blazes that devastated the trees were caused by simple things: an improperly extinguished campfire in 1996, a tree falling on a power line in 2011.

What happened after the fire, however — or, more accurately, what has not happened — was a departure from the normal course of events.

“We are in the middle of this 30,000-acre, near-treeless hole,” said Craig D. Allen, a research ecologist with the United States Geological Survey. If historical patterns had held, the remaining pines would by now be preparing seeds to drop and start the cycle of regrowth.

But the mother pines are nowhere in sight. Nature’s script has been disrupted by a series of unusually intense, unusually large fires — a product of many factors that include government firefighting policies, climate change and bad luck.
­Flames from the Valley Fire covered a hillside along California 29 in Lower Lake, CA on Sept. 13, 2015.
Photo Credit Noah Berger for Reuters.         

Well we probably won't get RCP 8.5 thanks to Peak Oil, which will cause Peak natural gas and Peak Coal. Doesn't mean we'll escape devastation of Mother earth's forests, though. Just less than expected (I hope).

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