Cities and forests; the outlook
Just a couple of items that came through my ‘in-box’ in recent times.
From the Payson Roundup newspaper of the 9th October, last.
Southwest forests are already in the early stages of a mega drought brought on by climate change that will result in massive tree die-offs and sweeping changes in Rim Country forests, according to an analysis published in the scientific journal Climate Change.
Severe drought will dominate much of this century, creating stresses on forests not seen for more than 1,000 years, according to the research that used tree ring samples from 13,000 trees, historical rainfall records and computer projections of future climate change.
The shifts will likely dramatically shrink the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona, replacing pines with junipers at elevations like Payson and replacing junipers with chaparral and cactus at lower elevations.
The article concludes,
Unfortunately, the team’s climate prediction models suggest that within the next 40 years the region will fall deep into mega drought conditions. The models predict that even the wettest, coolest years in the late 21st century will exceed mega drought levels. In that case, the drought conditions of the past decade will prove the new normal rather than a bad stretch.
Williams noted that while winters in the past decade haven’t been exceptionally dry, summer temperatures have soared. As a result, the stress on the trees in the past 13 years has exceeded mega drought levels about 30 percent of the time — conditions not matched for the previous 1,000 years.
Now to a more positive message, this one from Climate Denial Crock of the Week for 10th October, 2012.
One of the clean little secrets about dealing with climate change, is that if we make our cities more efficient, and reduce their carbon footprint, we will also make them more resilient, quieter, more comfortable, more human scaled, more inviting, and more fun.
For more on this story go to http://www.pbs.org/newshour/topic/climate-change/
As global temperatures rise, urban areas are facing challenges in keeping their infrastructure and their residents cool. Chicago is tackling that problem with a green design makeover. This report is part of our Coping with Climate Change series.