Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Can't See The Forest For The Trees

                 Evidence suggests Minnesota’s climate is changing much faster than ever before stated a scientist with the Nature Conservancy.  Moreover, a new study headed by the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station was released recently. It states that Minnesota’s vast northern forests will look radically different a century from now due to global warming. The study “found” that tree species at the northern edge of their range will do better in years to come, but those at the southern end of their range will do poorly- or disappear altogether.
                The report’s authors claim the findings can help ‘forest managers’ plot the state’s forest of the future rather than let chance rule the transition. I thought everything in nature  was brought about by simple chance. Man screwed it up, but now man needs to meddle with nature again by planting certain types of trees in certain numbers in specific areas? We now have to impose an intelligent design on our mother, the Earth, is that it?
                The Nature Conservancy scientist also said, “It’s important to note that we aren’t certain on all of this stuff, so we need to hedge our bets, like an investment strategy, and not put all of our eggs in one basket. We’re trying to encourage diversity of species into the future.”
                Here are some other study findings of note.
                *The number of heavy precipitation events will continue to increase, and impacts from flooding and soil erosion may also become more damaging.
                *Forests may experience more drought stress during the growing season, as well as increased risk of forest fires and an increase in forest pests and invasive species.
                *Temperature increases will lead to longer growing seasons.
                So, to recap: flooding will increase dramatically, as will drought stress, of course. Diversity of species in the future is our goal, except for certain trees, ‘pests’ and invasive species. But, look at the bright side, despite the excessively hot, wet, dry weather, frequent damaging storms, soil erosion, forest fires, invasive species, ‘pests’ (locusts?), and the like, the growing seasons will be longer! Wow.

                Hedging our bets, indeed.

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