British Columbia's forests once affected by beetle epidemic are recovering

British Columbia's forests once affected by beetle epidemic are recovering

British Columbia's forests that suffered beetle epidemic for more than a decade are recovering, as per new reports. You may not often hear advantages of global warming, but this time, it is responsible for a good cause. Scientists at University of Victoria believe that steady increase in global temperature in turn increases level of CO2, but now seem to increase capacity of trees in these forests to consume more CO2.

A group of scientists at the University's Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions found that global warming is causing trees of British Columbia's forests to grow faster and larger. The trees spread over an area of 18 million hectares once became dead and rotten during pine beetle epidemic between the 1990s till year 2005. They were then acting more like carbon producers than consumers. The trees normally absorb large amount of carbon from atmosphere, but for many years, beetle epidemic had halted this natural function.

"What we have found is the forests in B.C. are growing much faster than in the past due to climate change and increases in carbon dioxide, and this has helped us recover from the mountain pine beetle outbreak," said lead research Vivek, Arora, a climate modeling expert.

The scientists noticed that when the epidemic left the forest, after that they found evidence of faster and lager growing trees in B.C. forests. These trees are believed to observe CO2 that was released by the trees during beetle epidemic.

Scientists have also found through measurement that trees and their branches have increased in size by up to 3% over three years. There is likelihood that the trend of longer and faster growing tress will continue.

In a report published by the CTVNEWS, "The findings, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal American Geophysical Union, conclude global warming is making B. C. forests grow faster and the trees in those forests are able to take in more carbon dioxide, the gas associated with the globe's steadily climbing temperatures."

"What we have found is the forests in B. C. are growing much faster than in the past due to climate change and increases in carbon dioxide, and this has helped us recover from the mountain pine beetle outbreak," said lead research Vivek, Arora, a climate modelling expert.

According to a report in CBC NEWS by Lisa Johnson, "The warming climate that helped trigger B. C.'s mountain pine beetle outbreak might also be helping the province's forests recover, according to new research led by federal government scientists in Victoria."

That's because B. C. forests are responding to climate change by growing faster, said the lead author of the study published in Geophysical Research Letters.

"Since we are putting more CO2 into the atmosphere and things are getting warmer, trees are responding to that," said lead author Vivek Arora, a climate modeller with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

"Computer models estimate that B. C. forests stored 328 million tonnes less carbon dioxide and released in excess of one billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere during the outbreak, which began in 1999," according to a news report published by VancouverSun.

However, the effects of global warming — rising temperatures, higher rainfall, and an atmosphere richer in carbon dioxide — have created a “fertilization effect” which has accelerated the growth of trees, especially in the high-latitude forests that cover much of Canada, Russia and Europe.

“In B. C., the scientific evidence is that our forests are growing faster than in the past due to a warming climate,” said Arora. “This is helping us recover from the carbon impact of the mountain pine beetle outbreak sooner than we imagined.”

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