Coral With Leaves: Millions of Trees Join List of Climate Casualties

"Mass die-offs in California, the Southwest and Europe are not only tied to global warming by new studies, they will add to it."

"Dying coral has grabbed attention worldwide, but another equally disturbing die-off is also occuring, and with potentially serious consequences for the climate: Forests around the world are being decimated as the planet grows steadily warmer.

Just a few years after mountain pine beetles killed millions of acres of lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains, the U.S. Forest Service is reporting widespread tree deaths in drought-hammered Southern California. Even Europe's cool, moist forests have been losing trees at a fast rate. Large-scale simultaneous forest loss on different continents could have an impact on forests' ability to absorb atmospheric carbon, scientists say.

A recent aerial survey by the U.S. Forest Service tallied 26 million more dead trees in Southern and Central California between last October and April. In those six months, evergreen forests across 1,200 square miles—beset by drought and pine beetles—perished, transforming from living, breathing organisms into sticks of dead tinder, providing fuel for wildfires. In total, the agency has counted 66 million dead trees in the state since 2010."

Bob Berwyn reports for InsideClimate News June 30, 2016.

Source: InsideClimate News, 07/01/2016