12 Dec '11, 8pm

How do trees die? PhD candidate William R .L. Anderegg explores widespread Colorado forest decline (via @nytimesgreen)

William R.L. Anderegg A dead grove of trembling aspen in Colorado’s Grand Mesa National Forest. Scientists trying to understand the future of forests on a warming planet have a strange problem: They do not know how to kill trees. I don’t mean the trees in their backyards. I would bet that the average climate scientist, especially one who studies forests, is better with a chain saw than I would be. What I mean is that researchers don’t have a particularly good idea of how trees die in the wild, and as a consequence, they have a hard time constructing computer analyses that can accurately predict the future of forests. These programs are fine at running equations that describe the growth of trees and other plants as a function of climate in a particular area. But when it comes to understanding what causes large scale die-backs, the analyses are rudimentary at best. I encount...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/learning-how-to...

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