Trees are disappearing in California

California lost almost 1/10e of its trees since 1985 due to fires, drought, and removals. A real massive disappearance that continues to spread and worsen.

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While California relies on its forests to capture the carbon dioxide, the primary cause of global warming, and storing it in the ground, the state is seeing its trees disappear year after year. A new study ofuniversity of california reports a dramatic finding on the evolution of forests: they are disappearing in mass under drought pressure, fires, rising temperatures, but also withdrawals. The growth of trees and forests cannot catch up with the frenetic pace of climatic disasters, in addition to the pressure exercised by the human need for buildings and furnishings. Statewide, forests have lost at least 6.7 percent of their trees in less than 40 years, between 1985 and 2021. But in Southern California, an area ravaged by fires every summer, 14% of the trees have disappeared.

No less than 9.5 million trees would have died in California in 2021, according to the American forest service. Since 2010, a total of 172 million trees have died in the state. Ten years ago, the Forest Service was already concerned about California tree mortality, which at the time was mostly located south of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This ” mortality epidemic » then spread to the whole state and particularly affects the forests of conifers. When not burned in fires, trees weakened by heat and drought are ravaged by bark beetlessmall beetles that proliferate under the bark of pine trees throughout the American West.

California nature is undergoing a true transformation

If Californian trees have indeed entered a phase of gradual disappearance, this is not the case for all plants: grasses and small shrubs are on the increase everywhere in the State, which testifies to a change in ‘ecosystem. Some of these plants, on the other hand, are invasive species, which are not native to California and which sometimes have the property of being even more conducive to the outbreak of brush or forest fires. Another concern resulting from this change in vegetation: the wildlife local is not necessarily able to feed on these plants from elsewhere, and the animals lack shelter and shade in case of high temperatures. Trees are indeed increasingly replaced by small vegetation. California’s nature is recreating itself in a different way, putting many of the species that depend on it at risk.

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