Feb 22, 2016

Increasing drought threatens almost all US forests

California
USA
by
Cheryl Dybas
,
Phys.org
Drought has left little but skeleton trees in a forest of pinons in the US Southwest. Photo: USGS
Drought has left little but skeleton trees in a forest of pinons in the US Southwest. Photo: USGS

Drought-induced forest diebacks (the deaths of entire communities of trees known as stands), bark beetle infestations, and wildfires are already occurring on large scales across the West. Many models predict droughts are likely to become more severe, frequent and prolonged across much of the US.


Evidence is also mounting that climate is changing faster than tree populations can respond.