LONDON, 6 March, 2016 – Drought and climate change are now threatening almost all the forests of the continental US, according to new research.
Scientists from 14 laboratories and institutions warn in the journal Global Change Biology that climate is changing faster than tree populations can adapt
Existing forests, effectively and literally rooted to the spot, are experiencing conditions hotter and less reliably rainy than those in which they had evolved.
“Over the last two decades, warming temperatures and variable precipitation have increased the severity of forest droughts across much of the continental United States,” says James Clark, professor of global environmental change at Duke University, North Carolina.
He and colleagues synthesised hundreds of studies to arrive at a snapshot of changing conditions and a prediction of troubles ahead.