Thursday, July 30, 2009

Global Warming Up A Tree


Yosemitree, that is.


"Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday there are fewer large-diameter trees growing in Yosemite National Park than in years past, most likely because of climate change."

Good first sentence. Scientists say. Climate change the most likely perp.

"Warmer temperatures... contribute to tree mortality." Less water, more fungi, etc. etc.

Got it. Next?

"Warmer temperatures also can increase the severity of wildfires, which can kill off trees, he said."

So global warming is double-whammy bad news. It's a tree-killer. Got it? OK. Let's move on. Next sentence:

"Another factor in the decline may be that parts of Yosemite haven't experienced wildfires for 100 years."

Screech. Stop. Whaaat? Global warming is killing off trees because it increases the severity of wildfires; another factor is Yosemite hasn't had a decent wildfire in 100 years?!

So, which is it? Global warming or the lack of a decent fire-cull which clears away underbrush and smaller trees allowing the big-guys to flourish?

Article.

And that's the way the Ponderosa pine cone bounces.

Man, I love those ponderosa pines. Yosemite, Tahoe, the Sierras... it's got me California Dreamin'.



6 comments:

Joe_Agnost said...

Ball: "So, which is it? Global warming or the lack of a decent fire-cull which clears away underbrush and smaller trees allowing the big-guys to flourish?"

2 things here.

1) Which is it?? How about a little of both... why is that unacceptable to you?

2) The burning of trees in the forest creates a layer of ash on the ground that acts like a fertilizer - helping the surviving brush/trees grow more healthy.

RkBall said...

"1) Which is it?? How about a little of both... why is that unacceptable to you?"

Rules of logic, Joe. If A is true, then Not A cannot be simultaneously true.

You cannot argue that trees are smaller because a) global warming results in more intense fires and b) there have been no fires.

Logic does not work that way.

Joe_Agnost said...

The quote you're using says that "parts of yosemite" hadn't experienced wild fires in 100 years. So the answer could be both - I just don't know - but it COULD be both.

For instance: parts of the forest are experiencing so many wild fires that the trees aren't growing there - and in another part there are NO fires which is damaging to the trees as well. I'm sure Yosemite is a large parcel of land.

This ~might~ be the explanation - or you just might have found a VERY large error in the article. I don't know...

RkBall said...

You could be right. But see the spin -- either way, global warming gets blamed -- it's win-win!

Joe, if you've never been, if you ever get a chance to go to Yosemite, the Sierras, or Tahoe, please go -- it's a wonderful place.

The big tree species need a fire every once and a while to sweep through and kill the smaller species and clear out the underbrush; this gives them elbow-room to keep growing.

In early days, modern man suppressed wild fires, believing they were destructive, until we learned that wildfires played an important ecological role.

Joe_Agnost said...

Ball: "You could be right. But see the spin"

Yup... you might be on to something here. But my first instinct would be to question the authors/editors and not fault the entire AGW gang.

I love forests too - beautiful things... I'm a country boy with little time for big cities so the trees suit me just fine!

brothersmartmouth said...

I saw a program on the Humbolt Squid. It said the squid's range was expanding, likely due to climate change.
It also said the squid was intelligent, adaptable, and it's main predators (sharks and tuna) were disapearing at an alarming rate.
Once again, 2+2 does not equal 4, because of global warming.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"