Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trees Migrating North, West Experts Say

                Trees are migrating.
                That is the conclusion of a study of 86 eastern tree species conducted by scientists at Purdue University and published in mid-May. Not to worry, however. Unlike, say, the great caribou migrations, you won’t have to take immediate evasive action if you’re in the way of an advancing forest.
                None-the-less, the researchers found that, in the past 30 years, many species have already migrated 20-25 miles to the west and north. They claim the trees are heading west in response to increased rainfall in the central part of the country, and north in response to higher average temperatures.
                A recent article in the Minneapolis StarTribune declared: “Climate scientists predict that, even if global carbon emissions are held to the rates agreed upon in the Paris Climate Accord, average temperatures will rise by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. That means the pines of northern Minnesota would give way to a hardwood and grass ecosystem, said Lee Frelich, a University of Minnesota professor who studies climate change and forests.”
                And that’s if we’re lucky.
There’s a worse-case scenario rearing its ugly head. “But if carbon emissions and climate change continue to accelerate, then in time, northern Minnesota will instead look a lot like Kansas, Frelich said, and no boreal species will survive long term.” One pictures a Wizard of Oz II of the not-so-distant future, in which another ‘Judy Garland,’ also born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, gets blown away by a twister, and, after being carried aloft from the sunflower state to northern Minnesota, turns to her little dog, saying: “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Oh, wait, I guess we are.”
According to the article, scientists from the Nature Conservancy- and other assorted organizations- are petrified that “The giant, long-living pines are disappearing” from northern Minnesota, “replaced by more southern species like red maple as tree species across the country move in response to rapid changes in temperature and moisture brought on by 100 years of rising carbon levels in the atmosphere.”
They are not going to stand idly by either. They are “embarking [no pun intended, I’m sure] on a project to plant 400 acres with cold-loving evergreens like jack pine and tamarack in carefully selected ‘conifer strongholds’—places that they predict will stay cooler or wetter or have better soil, increasing the chances that a few of each species will survive for the next generation as Minnesota grows warmer.”
A few of each species will survive for the next generation? I assume they mean the next generation of trees, not humans. Do these trees, like college kids, really need “safe spaces” in which to take refuge? From “rapid” changes in temperature? After all, it was just 4 and 5 years ago that most Minnesota lakes experienced two of their latest ice-outs in recorded history. Back to back. Moreover, in December 2014, International Falls, Minnesota, set a new record of 8 days with a temperature of less than -30F. That same winter, just a couple years ago, was the coldest Duluth had suffered through in 141 years! I’m reasonably certain that trees aren’t setting out on their migratory path in an attempt to bask in those temperatures. In fact, according to a local tree service I talked to, some trees and shrubs died in the extreme cold that winter. (Oh, sorry, global cooling, just what global warming predicts. Climate change, you know).
Funny, though, the modern “scientific” notion that pine trees, in particular, can’t survive in warmer temperatures. Arkansas, North Carolina and Alabama all list a pine as their state tree.
I googled “trees migrating north and west,” and the top two results of my search were:
1)      “Climate change is causing trees in the eastern U.S. to move north, west”-, and
2)      “American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why”-

Oh, come on, which is it? The science is indisputable, or no one has a bleeping clue?

I clicked on each of the two. The USAToday’s headline was actually the most amusing: “Fed up with climate change, trees are moving north and west.” The trees are “fed up?” Is this possible, or is this possibly “fake news?” The ensuing article opined, “It’s getting so hot that even the trees are heading north.” To the “tree line,” perhaps? (Oddly, this is the opposite of recent human migration in the U.S. Fed up with government bullshit, high taxes, and political correctness run amok, the rust belt states have been hemorrhaging people to the southern states).

Experts want us to believe, against all evidence, that pine trees will soon be extinct in the northern climes, and that northern-tier states will soon be rife with okra and cotton.

I don’t know about you, but I’m “fed up,” too. I’m pining for sanity and integrity.

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