A new study has revealed yet another way climate change is going to alter the future of Earth.
A new study has found that climate change is making it harder for Rocky Mountain forests to recover after a wildfire.
The regional droughts that are happening partly because of global warming are resulting in big problems after wildfires wipe out forests: growth of new forests is hindered by the fact that post-fire seedlings can’t establish a foothold because of the drought conditions, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison statement.
There’s also been an increase in the average distance between burned areas, which provide an addition obstacle to seeds that would be need to replace lost trees.
Unfortunately, this is what the future looks like for our planet, scientists say. The study could help researchers better understand how this will impact forests later this century and could inform simmulate models on climate change.
The forests of the Rocky Mountains are especially informative because they tend ot be well-adapted to fire. Lodgepole pines have seed cones that are actually opened by fire, causing many thousands of seeds to be released after a wildfire. Unfortunately, the new findings indicate that these seeds struggle to survive because of these conditions once they are released.
“Fires that are followed by warm, dry conditions offer us a window into the future,” Brian Harvey, lead author of the study, said in the statement. “From all the best available data and modeling, and expectations about future climate, these are the kinds of fires and post-fire climates that we’re going to see more of in the future.”