Trees die three times more often even without beetles and fires: the reason is extreme heat

Even without the bark beetle and forest fires, new research has shown that trees in subalpine forests

Colorado continues to die, and this trend is intensifying. In fact, tree mortality there has more than tripled over the past decade since the 1980s.

We've got bark beetle outbreaks and wildfireswhich are clearly causing the death of trees in Colorado. But we see that the death rate is seriously increasing only due to heat and drought. This is an early sign of climate change.

Robert Andrus, study lead author at Washington State University

It is well known that an increase in temperature anddrought is killing forests around the world. But here in Colorado, the researchers found that heat alone caused 70% of tree deaths in 13 subalpine forest areas they have measured over the past 37 years. In comparison, 23% of tree deaths are due to bark beetles and about 5% due to wind damage.

The mortality rate is alarming, Andrus added.

Given that the temperature in Colorado is fromThe 1980s is actively increasing and is likely to rise by 2.5 ° C or more in the next few decades due to climate change, the rate of tree death will only increase.

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