At a recent conference on trees, US Forest Service workers and other experts gave unsettling reports on the health of US forests and how quickly they are declining due to climate change. Citing major tree die offs that have already occurred in the western USA for species such as the aspen, Dr. Jim Worrall, plant pathologist and leading top expert on Sudden Aspen Decline estimated that some 11 million acres of the current 16 million that currently populate hills and mountainsides could be gone, destroyed by rising temperatures and drought.
Meanwhile, climate change could prove even more devastating to a species like the white pine, whose vulnerability to mountain pine beetles is causing it to disappear. As temperatures have warmed, the beetles are moving further north, with large stands of trees in Montana and parts of Wyoming that have disappeared in just the past three years.
According to a study of 76 old-growth forests by the US Geological Survey, increasing mortality rates are being seen in 87% of all tree stands, with tree deaths that have doubled over the past 18 years. Speaking at the conference, former US Vice President Al Gore stated, “If you love the forests and you care about what's happening to them, the number-one connection … is warmer temperatures.”
Your Excellency and all other scientists, our sincere thanks for this information about global warming's effect on our vital forests. May the trees of the US and worldwide thrive once more as humans adopt ecological lifestyles that support a wealth of biodiversity on our planet.
During a 2008 videoconference in Canada, Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the core solution to the plight of the life-giving forests in the face of climate change.