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National Geographic: The future of forests

In some places, rising sea levels are creating "ghost forests". In the United States, in North Carolina, seawater seeped into freshwater aquifers and swamps, killing vegetation. In California, on the other hand, fires in the last two years have burned a fifth of the largest redwoods. In Siberia in 2021, a region known for its cold, fires burned 21 million acres of vegetation. Including releasing huge reserves of ancient carbon from the permafrost. In Australia, years of extreme heat and drought have stressed mangroves along hundreds of kilometers of coastline. On the Southeast Coast of Brazil, six months after the death of mangroves in Australia in 2015, the same phenomenon caused a storm that hit mangroves in the estuary of the Piraquê-Mirím River. The drought had stressed the trees, in part by increasing the salinity of the water. Then hail and wind killed nearly a third of them. Climate change is a growing and urgent concern, as forests help produce much of their own rain by recycling water vapor over and over again. Click on the image to learn more, including an analysis of which trees could survive a hotter, drier future.




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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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