Photo credit: Care2
– “Millions of Trees are Dying Across the US”
“Throughout the U.S., trees are dying at an astonishing rate. The reasons for the die-off vary from location to location — drought, disease, insects and wildfires – but the root cause in many of these cases is the same: climate change.”
“The presence of so many dead trees would be a tragedy anywhere, but in the mountains of the West, it’s particularly dangerous because the trees provide fuel for forest fires. It’s impossible for forest workers to chop down and remove millions of trees, so the majority of them are still standing.”
“In Seattle, tree deaths are even hitting city parks. Pine beetles, once confined to a small part of the country, have spread throughout the U.S., apparently beyond our forests. More than 500 trees have been lost this summer alone — a normal year would see only about 130 trees culled.
While there’s some controversy over whether pine beetles are destroying forests or simply culling unhealthy trees, the fact remains that these tree deaths are a major warning sign.”
“Forests are one of the Earth’s most important protections again climate change. The trees themselves act as carbon sinks, sequestering nearly a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions from the air. When they die, that carbon is released back into the air,” by Julie M. Rodriguez, Care2.