There is no global warming. It’s a hoax. Climate change? A scam. And a buncha dead trees mean nothing, I tell you — Nothing!

The majestic old-growth forests of western North America, greening patches of the landscape from Arizona to British Columbia, may be far more vulnerable to subtle climate change than scientists previously believed. A study published today in the journal Science reveals that these western forests are dying at faster rates as regional average temperatures climb more rapidly than the global average.

“Tree death rates have more than doubled,” says study co-author Phillip van Mantgem, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). […]

The researchers pinpointed the rise in regional temperatures as the likely culprit in their demise after ruling out other possible suspects, such as air pollution and forest management practices.

They note that the average regional temperature, though a mere one degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Celsius) warmer, translated into less snow, longer dry seasons, and increased soil evaporation, which stress out trees, making them more vulnerable to destructive insects and disease. Meanwhile, bugs and pathogens, which thrive in hotter temperatures, grow stronger, making them an even bigger threat to the fading forests, according to Kenneth Raffa, a professor of forest entomology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. […]

Today’s towering old-growth forests help to mitigate climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas that speeds global warming). But if the trends observed in this study continue, van Mantgem says, these key carbon-sinks could actually become a net source of carbon in the atmosphere, a phenomenon that has already been observed in tropical climates.

“If anything, it’s a warning bell,” van Mantgem says about the study’s findings. “A lot of people like to think of these majestic old-growth forests as unchanging, but this showed us that they do in fact respond rather quickly to the environment.”

What do a bunch of government ecologists know? I’m sure they’re just publishing this now for all the money they can earn on the tree hugger lecture circuit and all the government grants they can get. Oh wait. They already have government jobs which pay them a salary no matter what they find in the course of their research. And there are federal laws and rules that limit them from making money from speeches or lectures given to outside entities.

Oh well. Who cares about a bunch of dying forests anyway.

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