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Thread: Less Moisture,Drying Conditions, Warmer Temperatures, Trees Dying. Tipping Point?

  1. #1 Less Moisture,Drying Conditions, Warmer Temperatures, Trees Dying. Tipping Point? 
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Drying Conditions and Warmer Temperatures. On Catylist ABC, ( Australian Broadcasting C? ), 26th April 2012, there was a commentry and film showing the effect of recent hot weather in the South West corner of Australia. ( 2010, / 11 / 12. ). Trees Dying. Established trees, some over 100 years in age, succuming to the hot dry draught conditions. Stomata closing early in the day so no transporation, no absorption of CO2 from the Atmosphere, no moisture to raise from the ground. Tree's survival mechanisms no longer capable of deterring grubs and borers attacking sap systems. This is happening even in Brazil, in the Amazon Rain Forests, probably going to happen in Northern Europe Soon. We are being told that Global Warming is occuring and likely to continue worldwide. Trees dying, no absorption of CO2, more CO2 in the Atmosphere, increasing the rate of warming, trapping heat, not reflecting it back into Space. ( ice caps melting ). If trees are going to die off en-mass, will this be a Tipping Point for run-away Global Waming? westwind.

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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator
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    Apr 2007
    Washington State
    Not really clear whether this will be a "tipping point" for several reasons. If gradual enough those forest biomes will move in elevation or latitude to formerly inhospitable places they can now thrive. There is also some negative feedback in some places--for example, if a forest is replaced by desert the albedo (reflectivity) often goes up which means less solar gain and net cooling.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    what i know about australia could fit in a very small shoebox with plenty of room left over for the shoes.
    that being said:
    for example: Oak trees here are growing faster than they ever have in the last century or 2 (oaks love more CO2 and we have plenty of water. The mixed forest i planted 20 years ago already has some 50 ft tall trees with up to 16 tons of timber per tree

    from what i've read, most plants will grow faster bigger etc with more CO2 up to about 600-1000 ppm, the problem is that as they grow faster, they need more water and minerals from the soil, when these are depleted, growth slows, then, the warmth is a real killer. 110 degrees F and they start dropping leaves---by 130 they are dormant...but here, it is rare to see 110 degrees

    meanwhile, they are sequestering carbon in a rather nice building material.
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  5. #4  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    For sculptor. Thanks for Poste. Love trees that provide a natural resource. Fifty foot trees in around 20 years is good going. I think some of our Gum Varieties manage that. In good situations. Read favourable growing conditions. In Australia, as of now, ( end of May, 2012 ), we are into cold weather, for us anyway in Victoria. Temperatures around 11 degrees minimum, 16 degrees Celcius maximum. This will prevail now until October, into our Spring. Snow in our High Country. Lovely Snow Gums in our High Country all year round. Not overly tall of course, they would be blown over with some of our High Country Storms, but ideally suited to the Clime. Google up the Australian Alps, or Australia's Great Dividing Range, and never let it be said that you do not know a lot about Australia in the Future. westwind.
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  6. #5  
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    Nov 2011
    city of wine and roses
    Oak trees here are growing faster than they ever have .... and we have plenty of water.
    And therein lies the problem. Water is often the limiting growing condition for trees. Very cold and very hot temperatures will also limit growth - funnily enough by changing the availability / usefulness of water in large part.

    Of course, for northern American areas, what favours oaks in some areas is ruining pine forests at higher latitude and altitude. Milder winters allow those ghastly beetle critters to reproduce, and to feed, for longer periods of the year. So the evergreens are turning everred-orange-brown on their way to becoming leafless skeletons.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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