The number, so far, is over 147 million dead.
California’s expansive forests have experienced a profound tree die-off since 2010, exacerbated by a long drought between 2012 and 2015. These pine trees are tough, though, and have evolved to withstand parched years in the drought-prone Golden State. But not drought like this, which was amplified by the planet’s relentless, accelerating warming.
“The rules are changing,” said Nathan Stephenson, a U.S. Geological Survey forest ecologist who monitors trees in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range.
“It wasn’t just dry — it was warmer,” added Craig Allen, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Read more…