Redwood trees may thrive on global warming
August 14, 2013
California’s famous old-growth redwood trees may be benefiting from global warming. (San Jose Mercury News)
That’s the assessment of scientists and researchers who have been carefully monitoring the giant conifers to determine if climate change is having a negative impact on their growth. So far, the evidence is that tree health and growth rates are actually improving.
Steve Sillett, a forestry professor at Humboldt State, told reporters that he and other researchers have seen no evidence of declining growth.
“In fact, a lot of the sites are exhibiting increasing rates of growth over the last 100 years,” he said — 45 percent since the 1970s.
Warmer temperatures, additional sunlight, and higher levels of carbon dioxide may be helping the situation, said Sillett.
However, a decrease in the amount of fog in the region — a 33 percent decline over the past 100 years — may be problematic. But Sillett said those concerns, too, might be premature: less fog means more sunlight.