The number of dead trees in California’s drought-stricken forests has risen dramatically to more than 102 million in what officials described as an unparalleled ecological disaster that heightens the danger of massive wildfires and damaging erosion.
Officials said they were alarmed by the increase in dead trees, which they estimated to have risen by 36 million since the government’s last survey in May. The U.S. Forest Service, which performs such surveys of forest land, said Friday that 62 million trees have died this year alone….
Scientists say five years of drought are to blame for much of the destruction. The lack of rain has put California’s trees under considerable stress, making them more susceptible to the organisms, such as beetles, that can kill them. Unusually high temperatures have added to the trees’ demand for water, exacerbating an already grim situation…
Although California enjoyed a wet start to the water year in Northern California, the central and southern parts of the state remain locked in what federal officials classify as “extreme” and “exceptional” drought.
Sooner or later – hopefully, the former – folks will realize that climate change means more than a couple paragraphs about global warming. Distorted climates produce untypical environments, often ending in disaster.