Saturday, January 24, 2009

NAU measured 6,000 trees in global warming mortality study

The new report about global warming causing increased tree deaths was published yesterday in Science, supported by 5 press releases, a press teleconference, podcast, and piles of supplementary materials. It's been reported by every major news and science outlet with some worrying that this is the start of something more serious.

NAU associate professor of Forestry, Pete Fulé is one of the coauthors of the article "Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United States."

Fulé worked with NAU researchers to provide tree measurements from more than 6,000 trees, mostly ponderosa pines, rooted in the Gus Pearson Natural Area established in 1908 and located within the Fort Valley Experimental Forest 12 miles north of Flagstaff. Trees in the experimental forest can reach beyond 500-years-old.

[right, seventy-six forest plots are marked with circles, red for increasing mortality rates and blue for decreasing rates. The larger the circle the higher the mortality. The Pacific Northwest region, marked 1, includes plots in southern British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. No. 2 are the California plots and No. 3 is what the researchers call "interior" forest plots. Credit, USGS]

[some of this material is taken from the NAU press release]

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