2013-01-24. How Climate Change Could Wipe Out the Western Forests

posted Feb 5, 2013, 11:44 AM by Lisa Ou
 | Sarah Garland, The Atlantic. Relevant to GSS A New World View chapter 6. Excerpt:  ...Last year was the hottest on record in the United States, and the fall weather was unseasonably warm in the Rockies. The forest was weakened by prolonged drought; that November was the driest ever recorded in the park. An epidemic of bark beetles, which thrive in warmer conditions, was already in the process of killing off thousands of trees. The area's first heavy snow came unusually late, in mid-December, and only then did the fire slow down. Jason Sibold, a geographer who studies forest fires at Colorado State University and who has spent time exploring the canyon where the fire started, says scientists can't say for sure that global warming was a direct cause. Pinning one extreme event to climate change is impossible to do. "But that Forest Canyon site, I never thought I was going to see that burn, much less in December," he said. "That's just shocking."…. Read the full article: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/how-climate-change-could-wipe-out-the-western-forests/267457/