2013-10-15. Climate change affecting North American forests, researchers find.

posted Oct 24, 2013, 5:08 PM by Alan Gould

For GSS A New World View chapter 6 and Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Climate change is making North American forests more vulnerable to insects and disease but is helping some trees grow faster and increase their resistance to pests, a team of researchers from Dartmouth University said Monday. Researchers reviewed almost 500 scientific studies dating to the 1950s ... as part of the National Climate Assessment in 2012. The researchers said that higher temperatures and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are boosting tree growth, which could have a positive impact on economies that depend on timber and wood pulp, and could help pull carbon out of the ecosystem. ....Some areas devastated by insects or disease may be restored because of continued warming, with insects dying off because temperatures are too high for them, Weed said. But warming also allows insects to flourish and exaggerates their natural role in keeping forests healthy, the researchers found. Various types of bark beetles, for example, are doing more damage than expected, they said. ... “Mountain and southern pine beetles are attacking hosts farther north and at higher elevations than historic norms,” in part because warmer winters are allowing insects to survive. ...droughts and fires also have been linked to climate change.... http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_24313791/climate-change-affecting-north-american-forests-researchers-find. By Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post.