While climate change is still a major issue of humanity that can’t seem to get the acknowledgement it warrants, some of its most immediate effects have already started showing up. Rising ocean levels, melting glaciers, and droughts are only some of the most obvious and immediate consequences. And while some of our nation’s forests have already started seeing the effects of climate change, experts warn that most US forests are at risk of droughts.
The change is too fast
Already very well documented, the effects of drought on forested areas in the Western United States are horrendous – communities of trees dying off, bark beetles killing billions more, and adding to the pyre consisting of acres of spontaneous wildfires.
According to experts, these effects are most likely going to spread eastward and eastward as soon as the heat starts rising again. This will drastically affect the entire ecosystem for these forests, with both the flora and fauna struggling to survive or simply the animals moving away as fast as they can.
This is mostly happening because the climate is changing too quickly for the trees to be able to get adjusted to the dry and excessively hot conditions. The trees will most likely be unable to expand fast enough to new habitats, as the weather gets warmer and drier.
Coming as collaborative work between groups of scientists from 14 separate institutions, the paper is meant to offer at least some knowledge or some measure of advice on how to best approach and hopefully limit the extremely harmful effects caused by drought that is to come.
Despite the team managing to get some actually helpful information on some of the trees, the rising concern is that it is not even nearly enough to help in any practical way. Some of the information gathered might help make some theoretical predictions, but that’s pretty much it.
With over sixty million Americans depending on water source from these forested areas, and another 200,000 jobs and $13 billion on the line, it’s vital that we do something about the state of the forests and their survival when the drought arrives.
The team was hoping to gather enough information to be of help to land managers, so they know how to plan for the next dry season. Drought resilience efforts have increased over the past months, and experts are keeping up their investigation of the affair, although the paper was already published earlier this month.
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