Giving Compass’ Take:
• As fire and disease move up the mountains in America, researchers are rushing to try and find the answers and secrets that only mountain forests hold about our climate.
• How can funders help mountain forest research?
• Here’s an article on just how damaging fires and logging are to forest soil.
Deep in the forests of Montana, life is slowly changing. To start, it’s getting hotter. According to the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment, the annual average temperature in the state has increased 2.5 degrees since 1950 and is projected to increase by 3 to 7 degrees by midcentury. As climate change makes summers hotter and drier in the Northern Rockies, forests are threatened with increasing wildfire activity, deadly pathogens, and insect infestations, including the mountain pine beetle outbreak, which has killed more than 6 million acres of forest across Montana since 2000. Researchers from all disciplines are setting up labs in Montana’s mountains to study climate change as quickly as possible.
Cross sections from living and dead trees, also called “cookies,” are collected from across the country and studied at the U.S. Forest Service Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana. Part of the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, the lab is a state-of-the-art facility working to improve scientific understanding of wilderness fires.
Read the full article about mountain forests by Chip Somodevilla at YES! Magazine.
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