By studying a tree’s physiology, scientists are trying to determine how forests adapt to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and higher temperatures. By quantifying these effects, scientists hope to ascertain a forest’s ability to acclimate.
Rocky Mountain Climate
Climate change in Yellowstone, said USGS, causes food plants to leaf out earlier in the year, potentially affecting migratory animals in search of forage plants ripe for eating.
Based on an analysis of state data from the National Climatic Data Center, the ECRPC report found that heavy rain and snowstorms now occur in Colorado every 9.6 months on average, instead of once every 12 months on average.
Research derived from ponderosa pine forests in the Southwest indicates that while low-severity surface fires are common historically, today’s large-scale forest fires are enabled by fire-suppression efforts and other human activities.
Measurements at Niwot Ridge research station west of Boulder indicate changes to Colorado mountain zones are underway.
Research suggest that mountain pine beetles are maturing faster than previously thought with two generations of young bugs attacking vulnerable pine forests throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.
The dreaded mountain pine beetle is wreaking havoc on northern Front Range forests, according to aerial detection surveys.