Friday, March 25, 2011

Runaway Climate Change

Humans think linearly, nature acts nonlinearly. If methane clathrates weren't enough (google it), now Siberian larchs (or more accurately the lack thereof) are the problem.

Larch trees drop their needles in the fall, allowing the vast snow-covered ground surface of winter to reflect sunlight and heat back into space. This helps keep the climate in the region very cold. But evergreen conifers, such as spruce and fur, retain their needles year round. These trees absorb sunlight, which causes ground-level heat retention. This creates ideal conditions for the proliferation of evergreens, to the detriment of the leaf-dropping larches. The result is a northward progression of evergreens and a farther-northward retreat by the larch forests.

What's not to like about more pretty christmas tree forests? Read the rest here:

Russian Boreal Forests Undergoing Vegetation Change, Study Shows

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