Tree Death Update

  by  |  January 23rd, 2009  |  Published in All, Blog


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A new report published by government scientists today in the journal Science says that tree deaths have more than doubled in older forests across the western U.S., with global warming to blame. A month ago ScienCentral News’ Jack Penland reported on one of the major ways this plays out: with the help of tiny beetles that are killing trees by the millions.

Jack’s video is reposted below, and you can read his web story here.

You can read more about the Science paper here and here.

[If you cannot see the flash video below, you can click here for a high quality mp4 video.]

Interviewee: Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona
Produced by Jack Penland– Edited by James Eagan
Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc

 

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Responses

  1. Dan says:

    January 23rd, 2009 at 3:37 pm (#)

    From the World Climate Report

    The data are just in from the National Climatic Data Center and they show that for the year 2008, the average temperature across the United States (lower 48 States) was 1.34ºF lower than last year, and a mere one-quarter of a degree above the long-term 1901-2000 average. The temperature in 2008 dropped back down to the range that characterized most of the 20th century.

    Figure 1 shows the U.S. temperature history from 1895 to 2008. Notice the unusual grouping of warm years that have occurred since the 1998 El Niño. Once the 1998 El Niño elevated the temperatures across the country, they never seemed to return to where they were before. Proponents of catastrophic global warming liked to claim that is was our own doing through the burning of fossil fuels, but others were more inclined to scratch their heads at the odd nature of the record and wait to see what happened next.

    You see, prior to 1998, there was little of note in the long-term U.S. temperature record. Temperatures fluctuated a bit from year to year, but the long-term trend was slight and driven by the cold string of years in the late 19th and early 20th century rather than by any warmth at the end of the record. In fact, from the period 1930 through 1997, the annual average temperature actually declined a hair—despite the on-going build-up of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The only suggestion that “global warming” had involved the U.S. was to be found in the post-1997 period—a period unusual in that the temperatures went up and stayed up at near-record levels year after year. It was not so much that temperatures continued to climb after 1998, but just that they never fell. This grouping of warm years nearly doubled the apparent overall warming trend in U.S. temperatures (starting in 1895) from 0.07ºF/dedade (ending in 1997) to 0.13ºF/decade (ending in 2007). And with this doubling of the warming trend came the big push for emissions restrictions.

    But now, 2008 comes along and has broken this warm stranglehold. Perhaps this is an indication that the conditions responsible for the unusual string of warm years have broken down—and maybe they weren’t a sudden apparition of anthropogenic global warming after all.

    Only time will tell for sure. But, at least for now, things seem like they have returned to a more “normal” state of being.

  2. Sandy Chase says:

    January 23rd, 2009 at 5:21 pm (#)

    Regarding the “Global Climate Report” text that is copy-pasted above: It’s really nonsensical to talk about global warming trends in terms of single years. Clearly the Earth has been warming over the past 150 years, and there is wide consensus (97% of climatologists recently polled, for instance) that humans are playing a role.

    http://tigger.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/newsbureau/cgi-bin/index.cgi?from=Releases&to=Release&id=2389&frommain=1

    And if anyone reading this hasn’t figured out by now, the “Global Climate Report” is part of the “Greening Earth Society”: a faux grass-roots organization run by lobbyists for the Western Fuels Association.

  3. Sandy Chase says:

    January 23rd, 2009 at 5:23 pm (#)

    Regarding the “World Climate Report” text that is copy-pasted above: It’s really nonsensical to talk about global warming trends in terms of single years. Clearly the Earth has been warming over the past 150 years, and there is wide consensus (97% of climatologists recently polled, for instance) that humans are playing a role.

    http://tigger.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/newsbureau/cgi-bin/index.cgi?from=Releases&to=Release&id=2389&frommain=1

    And if anyone reading this hasn’t figured out by now, the “World Climate Report” is part of the “Greening Earth Society”: a faux grass-roots organization run by lobbyists for the Western Fuels Association.

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