Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Modelling knew the Pine Beetle's devastation was coming (Scientific American)

Climatewire | Energy & Sustainability

How a Computer Modeler Predicted the Mountain Pine Beetle Tree-Killing Rampage

Over the past decade, North American forests have been decimated by outbreaks of mountain pine beetles
climate change, global warming, mountain pine beetle, deforestation, treesScientists predicted that mountain pine beetles would devastate large swaths of North American forests as the climate warmed.Image: Wikimedia Commons/Bchernicoff
Over the past decade, the forests of North America have been gripped by some of the worst mountain pine beetle epidemics in history. Driven by record-high temperatures and frequent drought, beetle kill has expanded more than twentyfold across the American West.
In central British Columbia, the insects have destroyed more than 14 million hectares of trees -- an area the size of Connecticut -- in the single largest outbreak the world has ever seen.

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