Science

Climate Change Facts: Tree Species Decline Due To Global Warming

By Rodney Rafols , Jan 07, 2017 02:19 AM EST
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Arctic ice on record low
IDYLLWILD, CA - JULY 23: A 'ghost forest' of dead and dying trees is silhouetted on a ridge after sunset July 23, 2003 in Idyllwild, California. Southern California's native pines are being wiped-out by exploding populations of several species of bark beetles, a result of four years of the worst recorded drought since records began in 1849. Infected forests are expected to lose at least 75-95 percent of their trees creating unprecedented wildfire danger in the 'ghost forests' of dead trees. (Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

Climate change can be devastating for many plants and animal species. The effects of climate change can be felt more by some species than by others. Climate change facts show that tree species decline due to global warming.

As the climate is warming, the environment would also be changing. These changes could have great effect on species that could not readily adapt to a changing environment. This is the case for the yellow cedar, which depends on soggy soil for its survival.

The yellow cedar would be more vulnerable as the climate becomes warmer. Snow is vital to the yellow cedar, and without much of it the soil would become too wet for the tree. This has led to root freeze, which could kill the tree.

Yellow cedar has been in a slow process of decline. This decline goes all the way back to 1880 and still continues today. It is projected that by 2070 temperatures where yellow cedar are found could rise, which would give way to more rain than snow.

Yellow cedar has been important for communities near it. The Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people have been using yellow cedar for the canoe paddles and tool handles, according to Yahoo News. They have also used its bark for weaving baskets and hats.

Yellow cedar grows much slower than other trees. In turn, this has made them live longer. Still, trees that grow faster such as the spruce has out competed the yellow cedar. Things would only get worse as a wide area of yellow cedar is affected.

As much as 1,544 square miles of yellow cedar land are affected by climate change. This area has experienced around 70 percent of yellow cedar dying, as CBC News reports. An even wider stretch of around 20,207 square miles are vulnerable as climate change continues.

Certain areas aren't as affected. Yellow cedar in higher elevations in Washington and Oregon aren't much affected, since snow in these places haven't lessened much. The roots of the yellow cedar there are still fairly protected.

This effect on yellow cedar is making researchers look into other trees that have shallow roots such as sugar maple and yellow birch. So far though yellow cedar remains to be the most documented case of a tree species that has been affected by climate change. Climate change facts show that a tree species decline due to global warming. Another species affected by climate change is the beluga.

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